Friday, January 22, 2010


I woke up a little bit ago an just laid there in the silence wondering what woke me.  I was on my couch (where I've slept since Sat night because it doesn't hurt my back...go figure) and couldn't hear the coffee pot or the radio in my bedroom (it goes off around 5am). Then I heard a *slight* beeping and thought maybe it was my radio and I just hadn't turned it up last night.  I finally turned my head to look at the clock: 2:11am.  Not my radio.

So I keep listening.  My fridge is running (gotta bring the freezer temps down from its 18.4degree peak during the night!) so it's actually hard to hear/distinguish this beep, although I'm not surprised it has awakened me because what some people think is "silence" actually wakes me up.  Because it's really not silent, there is a faint noise somewhere and I won't be able to go back to sleep until I know what it is..I think I've always been this way - had this thing about unidentified noises.  

The beeps continue. Almost like the reverse alert on a truck? Maybe it snowed despite the forecast and they are clearing the parking lot already?  No, the beeps are too close together and too rhythmic.  Then another noise hits a whistling chirp between the beeps...and there are four beeps together.

My foggy brain decides this is some sort of emergency vehicle and a jump off the couch and open my front door.  No flashing blues and reds reflecting off the buildings.  I hear another chirp, a different noise than I'd heard inside (and not loud or piercing enough that'd I'd have heard it inside) and decide maybe it's a police car and so I creep down the breezeway to see what's going on.  

Then it finally registers in my brain that this had been a car alarm going off.  I hear someone rushing through the breezeway on the level below me and a guy in a red shirt and jeans runs down the steps and across the grass and I hear another chirp like it's shutting off the alarm (which had already quit).  "Did you get it?" he asks?  "Yeah" a girl responds, "but I don't know why..."  and then she's able to start the engine.

At first I think it's my neighbor across the hall, then realize I didn't hear him running down from our third floor perch.  So either it's one of the ever-rotating new neighbors or a visitor that had tucked a few too many under the belt and couldn't get her car to start to go home.  Maybe I should go check on my car to make sure she got out of the parking lot ok.

Then I realize I just walked out of the relative safety of my apartment in the middle of the night when a car alarm was going off. What if someone was actually trying to steal it?  Why didn't I grab my not-yet-conceal&carry-weapon-permitted handgun?  ha  Maybe I should move back into my bedroom where I'm safe from these types of least from our parking lot.  I can still hear the car alarms in the apartment complex across the creek (and bass music vibrating up through the walls), but then they are a direct shot to my cheaply made aluminum frame, single pane windows that let in sound, cold air, and yucky smells.

Just over two hours until my alarm goes off...dare I go back to 'bed?' I went to sleep thinking of (and I think I dreamed of as well) little Daniel, a sweet 3yr old boy who died yesterday afternoon, and of his grieving mother and father (I think I've met him once), and his 5yr old sister who as of 8pm last night didn't realize her brother was gone. "He got caught in the window" is what she told my friend when the police brought her to my friend's house. A horrible, horrible tragedy of which I don't know all the details, just that he was strangled by (and possibly hanging from) the cord from the window blinds.  I can't imagine what his mother is going through.  It was naptime so his mom wasn't worried about the silence.

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