Monday, March 24, 2003
I did not go to school today.
This was not because I was ill. It was not because I stayed up too late watching the Oscars (I didn't watch them at all, as it happens). It was not because I just didn't feel like going into school.
I stayed home today because I was completely, utterly exhausted.
Why? you ask. Is it, perchance, nothing more than the usual school-year exhaustion?
Yes, I respond. It is because the world is trying to destroy my mind. Or, if not the world, at least one very, very, very evil smoke detector.
You see, I have a smoke detector in my room, for all the right safety reasons. At 3:30 this morning, I was awakened from my slumber by a high-pitched beep. Irritated, I tried to return to sleep. Another beep. Followed by yet another.
The smoke detector, in its fierce determination to ruin my mind and soul, proceeded to emit a piercing, loud beep once every minute, from 3:30 am until around 7:30 am, when my mother figured out how to shut it off.
Every single frelling minute from 3:30 to 7:30.
I was, needless to say, unable to sleep. Every time I started to doze even a little bit, I would be jolted back into wakefulness by the squealing beep of dread. Every minute. I started counting time between beeps. I tried stuffing tissues into my ears to muffle the sound, but the beep was piercing enough that all my efforts were made in vain.
I tried taking the smoke detector off the ceiling, but it was cunningly attached by a slew of wires, so I was foiled again. There were no buttons or anything that I could push to turn it off. Believe me, I looked. If there had been, I would have turned the frelling thing off in a second and taken my chances with fire.
By the time morning rolled around, I was practically in tears from a combination of sleep deprivation and the grating repetition of the beep itself. It was rather like what I imagine Chinese water torture to be. You knew the beep was coming, but you couldn't do anything to prevent it. I was twitching feebly in bed, uselessly trying to wrap pillows and blankets around my head to cut out the sound. I may well have been whimpering.
I was, in short, frantic, and rapidly deteriorating minute by painful minute.
My mother, perhaps slightly alarmed by my unbalanced aspect, finally managed to shut the damn thing off. This was a complicated procedure, apparently involving all the other smoke detectors in the house, a step stool, removal of the aforementioned wires, some batteries, restitution of the aforementioned wires, and a small amount of weapons grade plutonium. Even after the foul appliance was silenced, I spent some time glaring mistrustfully at it before I was able to fall asleep.
Then, ah! Blissful sleep.
the devil walks among us
Anyways, I feel a little bit better about not going into school, because it seems like a number of other people also skived off. I'll bet their excuses aren't as horrifying as mine is, though. I was actively tortured throughout the night by a vengeful (I'm not sure why it's vengeful, but it just is) smoke detector.
Pity me, in my agony, for you could suffer the same fate yourself someday. One never knows.