Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pretty? Or Pretty Special?

The other night I woke up to the distinct sounds of the alarm sirens, the ones that go off every Wednesday at noon. Only this was Thursday morning. Specifically, Thursday morning, roughly 2am. For a solid five minutes I laid in bed and tried to comprehend the rising, falling, rising, falling sound outside my window. I even had one of those discussions with myself where I asked exactly how important it was to get out of my warm bed if a disaster was imminent. Because it would totally be easier for people to find my body if it was right where they thought it would be, rather than hanging over a tree limb somewhere. In the cold. Outside of my warm bed.

I’m very focused on this warm bed situation because the temperature has decided to take a sudden nose dive into the chilly region. So chilly, in fact, that my thermostat clicked on several times in the night just to keep it from going below sixty degrees. This is a sure sign that I should have turned up the dial a bit but I’m telling you, it just wasn’t that cold when I finally got to bed. I should know because I made three lengthy trips into the dark abyss of the basement laundry in my flip flops and never once felt the bone racking chills that attacked my body every time I pushed a nostril out from beneath the bedcovers. And that was at 10pm, so what happened to the weather in a mere four hours?

Eventually I decided it was probably in my best interest to get up and at least check the television for the inevitable anchorwoman, calm and collected, telling me to pack my shit up and get the hell out of dodge. I grabbed my robe off the hook, cursing it’s thinness and my avoidance of washing the heavy one that evening because it meant I’d have had to run to the store and get more quarters. Damn me and my laziness.

But as I flipped through each station I noticed a total lack of calm anchorwomen and a plethora of infomercials. This is very odd, I thought, that even the local stations refuse to run a ticker on the bottom of the screen. They run tickers if a thunderstorm in northern Missouri threatens to bring an extra gust of wind through the Ozark Mountains . I’m contemplating how I’m going to get two unruly cats into the back of my Honda and these newsie people don’t even have the courtesy to tell me why someone has decided to turn on the city sirens.

So I head back to my bedroom, where I can still hear the rising, falling, rising, falling siren. I crawl back in bed and point my still half-asleep eyes out the window. I feel my brow crinkle in confusion and a fleeting thought crosses my head that I forgot to rub on my moisturizing wrinkle-keep-away cream and what if my forehead gets too dry and permanently creases? Apparently I’m very vain during the wee small hours of the morn.

Not a single porch light, vehicle light, garage light is visible, which causes my brow to crease further in confusion. But I’ve moved on from my vain midnight wrinkle obsession and I realize I’m more awake now than I was ten minutes ago, which brings me halfway through my normal twenty minute awakening period. It’s then that I notice the sound I’ve been hearing is decidedly fainter than it was just a few minutes past. I focus more intently upon the sound, trying to make out any idiosyncrasies, half-heartedly attempting to remember if the siren has different sounds for Tornado Imminent warnings and Air Force Base Bombing, Time to Load Up On Out warnings.

Perhaps the cold was a factor in speeding up the awakening process, I really have no idea, but it suddenly dawned on me that the sound I was hearing was the slow moving street cleaner. Not the disaster sirens. Not even a chorus of tortured cats. Just the normal, average, weekly street cleaner.


Adam said...

It wasn't a Crazy Death Bringer Street Cleaner?

duckie said...

are you still taking those pills?

birdie said...

Adam: I don't think it was a Crazy Death Bringer Street Cleaner. I think it was just an Overly Loud, Perhaps Someone Should Tune the Engine on this Thing Street Cleaner. And I feel you judging me, even from Australia.

Duckie: They sold out of the good kind. Now I'm just smoking cat fur and wet leaves.


Carl from L.A. said...

One thing that wakes me up instantly when I leave my house at 3:30 a.m. is the freezing temperature which, in the desert this time of the year, is already down to the 30's.