Last night was temperamental. Or shall I say the air conditioning unit popped on n’ off so often I had to physically remove myself from the coziness of a soft pillow and bed; To change the indoor temperature. It’s either too cool or too warm, the unit pounces on.
That was not all that created a night of sleep loss.
My cellular phone is within feet from me at all times during the night. I have two children. They’re adults who won’t be calling me first during the middle of the early morning, but having my phone nearby goes back to youth. Back when there was only one stationary phone in the home which always stayed on one table. That table was specifically used for a local phone book and a brown classy phone.
Occasionally, during the night I awaken by the sound of a beep indicating a new message arrived. That happens when I’ve forgotten to turn the phone volume down.
I was not prepared for the five-twenty a.m. wake up siren bellowing from the living room only a room over. Whew, whew, whew. I just laid still and let the siren do it’s thing. Because I knew there was no smoke or fire inside the apartment or in the vicinity.
Soon after, the alarm ‘shut-off.’ I did nothing to assist.
I fell asleep; I was again reawakened to the sound of a siren for the second time. As before the alarm sounded for a minute or three; Then the wracking noise stopped.
Unfortunately, that’s not an isolated event; I have grown used to sirens creating havoc during the day hours and nighttime. I’ve aware of the alarms; Never go off while I’m cooking. Only when I’m asleep, in the shower, or watching television.
Off the top, in the year twenty-sixteen, I left town and rode five hours to visit with my daughter during the week of Christmas. On the first night, I cleaned the room, made the bed, and settled on the bed.
During the early morning hours, I awoke during the night with the sound of a fire alarm siren. Not from downstairs, or from the hallway. But from the very room I slept in. Whew, whew, whew.
I’d already had a difficult past few months, staying with her was supposed to be a ‘break.’ Some break this started out to be.
I remember raising my head to stare at the sounding alarm. My daughter raced across the hall to see what I had done to provoke the alarm. I have never smoked. Or lit candles in the middle of the night.
None of the other fire alarms were signaling. Only the room, I slept in.
Another time I had trouble with the fire alarm was in my apartment during twenty sixteen. I was asleep and the alarm signaled for me to wake up. It was during that night, I noticed something about the fire alarm. There was one next to the bedroom door and another alarm only feet outside the bedroom door. Two fire alarms in a one-bedroom apartment only feet distance.
On that night, the room was dark and I woke up scrambling in the sheets. The headboard bumped into the only window covered with blinds. Somehow I flopped around in the bed so much, I pulled the blinds onto my head. I thought I was being attacked by an intruder and broke blades from the blinds.
Last year, I was sitting on the living room couch and decided to take a shower. It was hot and sticky out. My mother was watching television.
I gathered my things and exited to the bathroom. An alarm from the living room sounded. This is more of a wall audio system to keep in touch with my mother who is elderly. If there was an emergency in the apartment and she needed help, the system would alert the police department.
That system should not be working. Because no one pays for the service.
However, the alarm sounded. Ten-foot from the floor, there’s relentless noise. I climbed onto a chair to turn the system off. There’s no switch. My mother called the apartment office to alert them of the faulty alarm.
I always wondered what the alarm was anyway. I’ve had numerous private conversations revealed in my presence where no one would know the detailed information but the wall alarm and myself. I’m not getting paranoid about the audio box, but still there could be a possibility the alarm is hooked up for public listening.
In that case, I would say, “So much for the Right to Privacy.”
The alarm continued to sound for the next half-hour or longer; until the young maintenance guy and apartment manager showed up together.
By then, I went ahead and started my bath. I’m not on the apartment lease. Nor do I stay in the city continuously.
I had closed the shower curtain and heard the voices of the apartment staff discussing what to do about the alarm. Neither had any knowledge of this kind. The woman manager suggested contacting someone else who might be able to help.
I didn’t know where my mother had went to. She was not communicating with the staff. I stayed in the bathroom quiet and listened.
Next thing, the bathroom door swung open. The woman and man were apparently searching for the fuse box to shut off the alarm. I knew that box was in the bedroom closet; I was sure they did too.
The two openly had a conversation in the bathroom while I lay naked in the bath only feet away. What a predicament?
About twenty minutes passed, the alarm still sounded without fail. Signifying the battery was ‘just fine.’
I heard a new voice and some wrestling with wrenches. The alarm stopped. My mother’s voice faintly heard from the living room. Being sweet n’ so nice as usual. They’re so lucky, she’s understanding.
Since that day, that alarm has sounded one other time when I wasn’t in the apartment.
On visits to my nephew’s home in the country, their fire alarms routinely go off for no reason other than to aggravate the home occupants. Their electricity is subject to stop for no reason. Leaving dinner on permanent hold, for up to twelve hours. Country living is not all that.
Good thing I’m a professional ‘Documentor.’ To give praise where it deserves to go.