Weird: Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night
About an hour ago, just after I'd slipped into that deepest layer of sleep, I got jarred awake by my phone ringing. I woke up, and struggled with this thing we call reality, one that was especially troublesome considering that the relative reality I usually find upon waking wasn't there.
My folks have gone to Florida. I'm at their house, dogsitting. The phone is ringing, and I'm trying to figure out why it feels like I'm sleeping on a bamboo sofa and my phone is halfway across the room.
Mostly it feels that way because I've fallen asleep on a bamboo sofa, and my phone is actually all
the way across the room.
Well, I find my phone. I call the closing manager at the store, whose call I'd missed by seconds. There's an alarm problem at the store. Meanwhile, I'm still struggling with little questions like "where am I?" and "where are my glasses?" and what is at the time most important: "what time is it?"
"12:40" Matt tells me. He goes through the problem. I listen, trying to get the fog to lift--I'm fine just about any other time you wake me up, but if you get me just after I've gone to sleep, I'm ricockulous to try to converse with. I can't make sense out of the simplest statements, such as the one Matt keeps trying to get me to understand: "I can't get the alarms to set."
As he's explaining things to me for a second time, my mind catches up, making the leap from wondering why Matt's trying to set alarms at his house to work, where the alarm won't set.
I walk him through a solution, as best as my mind can muster having been roused after 45 minutes or so of sleep--on top of the three hours I'd had last night.
It bothers me something he'd said when I stopped by the store earlier to complete a work schedule for the coming week.
We've all seen "ghosts" in the store.
And I don't mean undead spirits, necessarily. Though there are times your mind can't quite wrap itself around anything less than a phantasm.
We've all had it, though. Closing managers in back rooms by themselves are prone to seeing things around corners or hearing noises in the other parts of the backroom. I've done it on more than a couple of occasions. It's a big empty building, with steam pipes and cooling systems and drainage ducts running willy nilly, all covered by a big metal roof that contracts and expands with the heat of the day. It's quiet at night, and you hear the noises that you don't during the day, as they're covered by the goings on that go with a retail establishment filled with people.
In short, your mind works a little overtime.
Which is not to say it doesn't mess with you. The most jarring was a night where I would have sworn on any holy book you could have put in front of me that I'd seen somebody duck behind the cardboard baler as I did my final security check of the store. Almost equally disconcerting was the night I made my closing office worker walk a circle with me on the store floor, because I swore I saw somebody duck behind a sales display in our deli--the only thing missing from that latter occasion was the distinct feeling I had of being watched as I searched behind the baler and backstock floats for this phantom person who runs around the store. Those were the creepier two occasions....
Anyway, tonight, when I went in to finish a department schedule, my grocery manager told me that he'd had one of those experiences: he heard a metal float moving, he thought, and could have sworn that he saw the swinging door between the grocery and produce departments moving. He went so far as to walk to produce to check the back room of the produce department, finding nothing. He did what I've done, and called it "the ghost."
Well, he calls with his alarm trouble. I direct him to call the security office for our company. They give him direction. He calls back, and I tell him how much I hate those ghosts your mind create, because I'm needing him and the office assistant to double and triple check the store, to make sure some nutball kid isn't trying to prank us, or that one of the one or two homeless folks that have popped up in our little town isn't trying to bed down in a cooler for the night. Or, worse yet, make sure somebody isn't trying to set up a thieving experience.
They find nothing, and here at 1:45 in the morning, I've heard nothing else from him or from our store's security, them screaming that alarms are going off at the store.
Anyway. I wrote all that to write this:
Now, here I sit, wide awake, listening to the sounds of a big old house in the woods settling in cooling summer night. Heat lightning flashes in the sky, outside the glass room, where I was attempting to bed down for the night.
I walk around the house, listening to sounds. The plumbing has been acting up--the folks are having some work done in the house, and the plumbing seems to want to hiss and bump, from time to time. Also, I've noticed the water sometimes takes a second or two to decide to flow. I go to get a drink of water, and no water comes out.
Shit, I think. The pump's gone out.
A try a few second later yields water. But I've not ruled out the possibility that something's off with the pump. We've had to turn the house's water on and off a few times.....
And here I sit, my mind still working, little things are acting weird.
For some reason, after my telephone conversation, I'm not getting good mobile reception. Normally, even though my folks live just a half a mile past the middle of nowhere, we still get excellent reception, owing to the coverage from the nice folks at Verizon.
But tonight, I get one bar, and as I look now, an Analog signal.
Maybe the power's out somewhere along their network of towers, and thusly I get diminished signal.
It still feels weird.
Add to that all the little noises I'm not used to anymore, when I'm sitting up, staring into the summer night. Like I said, the house settles. If I'm quiet, and I can hear Max and Sally, my folks' dogs, making their gentle, sleeping noises.
And then: There's nothing that will make a feller leap out of a paranoid musing more grotesquely than having a hickory nut fall 50 feet from the top of a tree onto a tin roof. It's like a bomb going off, except instead of exploding outward, the noise implodes all the way into your bones, bouncing off the base of your skull and zapping into your soft tissue like an electric shock.
I think a grenade going off would be a little more subtle.
So, I decide to wander the interweb, and find that my folks' computer isn't showing the last couple blog posts I made, even when I reload. Gotta wonder if Blogger's eaten them, now, because now that I think about it, I didn't check to see if they loaded after I wrote them at the asscrack of dawn this morning.
Anyway. Just a little weird.
This has bene a long, involved post in which I've simply let the words pour out of my head, to see if I can find sleepytimeland before long.
A lot of this blog is like verbal flatulence, in the case you haven't guessed that by this point, and my theory on all things such as those: Better Out than In....
So. Instead of having these words rattling around in my head, I've put them here to computer pixel, for your bemusement.
Y'all have a pleasant evening....Edit:
Noises? How's about having a cat decide to climb up the screen in the sun room as a surprise noise you gotta figure out in the middle of the night? Sheesh. I know one cat that just missed getting thrown into a rock pond....