Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Sound of Silence

We had quite a thunderstorm here in Athens last night. I don't know what time the storm hit. Toodles woke me up to take her out around 11:30--it was windy and more than a little balmy, but the rain hadn't started yet.

If I'm asleep when it starts, thunderstorms rarely wake me up. Frankly I doubt even an earthquake would wake me from a sound sleep. I've even slept through a hotel evacuation that included fire alarms, door-pounding, and phone calls to my room.

Last night I woke with a start. The thunder and roaring winds didn't wake me. Like I said, noise almost never bothers me. Silence is another matter. I woke up when we lost our electricity. The silence was deafening.

The power must have gone off between 1 and 2 in the morning. I got up and walked around the house, peeking out the windows to see if anyone else had power. The people on the street behind us did, but our street was dark.

Back in bed the steady drip of the shower in the master bathroom kept me awake. Normally white noise from a small fan on the dresser masks the sound. Last night it was like Chinese Water Torture.

I tried to focus on the sound of the wind and driving rain. I worried about branches from the tall Georgia pines around our house coming through the roof. Then I thought about how much trouble re-setting all the clocks would be. That got me to worrying we would oversleep and be late for work.

Next my mind wandered to the contents of the refrigerator. Would that half gallon of yummy Mayfield ice cream be OK? Maybe I should go ahead and eat it. No, opening the freezer door would only make things worse.

Both dogs were restless. Normally I put them in their kennels when they get antsy in the night. I worried a tornado would hit the house and decided I'd rather have them with me.

For the next hour my mind rotated between the dripping shower head, the Caramel Sundae Crunch ice cream melting in the freezer, and where I would get coffee when I got up. In between I groused at Toodles and Tico to settle down after both apparently felt an intense need to thoroughly clean themselves. It was a long night.

Finally the storm passed. I put the dogs in their kennels. It was 4:30 in the morning. Now to sleep, perchance to dream.

But no, Toodles was intent on noisily rearranging the contents of her kennel. She clanked her metal bowls around and at one point, decided to try to dig her way out through the kennel's plastic bottom. Who knew five pounds of dog could make so damn much noise?

I drifted off to sleep just as the alarm on my partner's iPhone went off. He must have gotten up and set it while I was roaming the house. Had I known, I would have had one less thing to worry about.

Pulling the covers over my head, I tried to go back to sleep. Just as I was nodding off the power came back on. At least the coffeemaker would work.

Good thing. I can live without sleep. But doing without my morning coffee would have been too much for...

The Crotchety Old Man

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