So I've been a little off-schedule of late. Maybe you didn't really notice. Who am I kidding? Of course, you noticed. Still, it wasn't as bad as this time last year. I've just gotten beat out of sorts by life, the booth, and the big picture. Especially the big picture.
I was really intending to get back on track this week, with an on time Monday Rambles post and everything. I thought it was all going to work out. And then insomnia struck.
It happens to me from time to time. Sometimes, I just can't sleep. Just. Can't. Sleep. Usually, I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, so I end up messing around on the computer for a couple of hours (if I'm lucky) or the rest of the night. The general rule for me is that if it hits between midnight and two, I still have a shot of getting a couple hour's worth of sleep. If it's after three, I'm probably up for good.
Sunday night, I never got to sleep at all. I was up all night long.
I answered math problems on the computer. I took a Spanish grammar test online. I wrote emails. I took a quiz and learned that, if I were a cupcake, I'd be strawberry with buttercream icing and rainbow sprinkles. Then I took another quiz and learned that in a past life I was Eleanor of Aquitaine. (Which really explains a lot, now that I think about it.) I did some genealogy work, filling in some gaps on my father's side of the family.
In fact, I did everything but actually work on a blog post, for reasons that I certainly don't understand and cannot articulate.(I think it might have something to do with not wanting to mess up my sprinkles. Or maybe it was the regal sounding voice in my head that kept saying, "Eleanor of Aquitaine does not type. She dictates.")
Anyway, my plan for Monday was to get out early, go to the booth, work for a few hours, head back to Louisville, and then meet Keith at an immigration rally. However, at the time that I really should have been hopping in the shower, it finally hits me---I'm now tired. Really tired. And sleepy.
I probably should have powered on through it, but I'm not as young as I used to be and I haven't pulled an all-nighter in decades. I was afraid of falling asleep on the bus and waking up in a corn field in Southern Indiana. Eleanor told me that simply would not do.
So I calculated out how long I could lay down and still catch a late morning bus and get a little work in before having to head back. And then I set an alarm and laid down, with Chiquito, and the cupcake and Eleanor.
Being a middle-aged man with a middle-aged man bladder, I had to get up and pee well before the alarm went off. As I walked through the kitchen to the bathroom, I heard this really faint, really quick beeping sound.
It's the alarm panel from our old house alarm. We had to give up the alarm service when we gave up the landline phone a few years ago. The pad is still there, but the battery is supposed to be dead and it's inactive.
For the past few weeks, though, it's been doing this beep thing at odd times. There have been at least three such incidents. We have no idea what's causing them, but if someone punches the "off" button, it stops.
I don't have my glasses on, so I lean in really close and punch what I think is the "off" button.
And all HELL breaks loose.
The actual alarm--the house alarm which has been inactive for a long time--goes off. The house alarm. The one that's loud enough for the neighborhood to hear.
It was like that only way, way louder than you could ever imagine it.
Chiquito starts freaking out. Sprinkles start flying off the cupcake. Eleanor becomes immediately as nonplussed as only a medieval English queen with a scheming husband and brood of vipers for children can. And I still have to pee.
And now it gets interesting.
The alarm itself--the part that's making this ungodly racket---is in the corner of the junk room. The far corner. And the junk room is, as junk rooms, are prone to be, full of junk. Literally full. It's where the booth stuff that isn't in the shed or in storage ends up.
I have been working diligently in recent days at cleaning and clearing it out. I take a bunch of stuff over to the booth several times a week. I have thrown a few bags of trash out and gotten some of the rest organized, but it is by no means done. The infernal, blaring thing is by not the least bit accessible without spending a half day that I obviously don't have moving shit around.
So I, still with no glasses, try punching the old codes into the keypad. The main code won't work. The back-up code we gave my mother doesn't work. The code for the old cat-sitter doesn't work. Punching it doesn't work. Trying to pull it off the wall doesn't work. It won't budge.
I cannot see well enough to find a hammer.
Now, I'm starting to get worried that the neighbors are calling the police. Who will come to the house. And see my junk room. And me. With no glasses. In my undies.
Eleanor tells me that it is beneath her royal personage to cooperate with the local constabulary. Chiquito is nowhere to be found. The cupcake is curled up in the corner crying and getting those damn sprinkles everywhere.
I have no choice. I have to brave the junk room.
I decide that maybe I can climb over all the boxes and tubs and get to the screaming thing from hell. bear in mind that I still don't have my glasses on. I'm in my underwear. And I still have to pee.
I set foot on the bottom box of a small stack, thinking that if I can get on top of the stack, I can just kind of roll along the tops of the boxes. Or something. Eleanor starts laughing uncontrollably at the thought, but she's being no help, so I ignore her.
As I pull my self up, the bottom box collapses, making the two on top of it fall all around me, scattering stuff everywhere, basically undoing a lot of the cleaning I have done in there. I manage to keep my balance, but it's becoming pretty clear that I am going to have to pee in the next couple of seconds or my innards are going to pop open.
At my wit's end, I look towards the corner of the junk room and scream as loud as I can:
"WILL YOU FUCKING STOP????"
Believe it or not, that works. The noise stops. I go pee.
When I come back Eleanor tells me that a simple "Desist!" would have sufficed. I tell her to shut her worthless royal ass up, and she huffs out of the room muttering something about having the cupcake for tea. I haven't seen either of them since.
Then I get to really worrying about the cops. What if they come bursting in and shoot me thinking I'm some sort of underwear bandit? Maybe I shouldn't have pissed Eleanor off quite so soon.
So I sit down on the bed, get my phone and start to call Keith. And the alarm I set to wake me up goes off. And now I'm just about on the verge of tears. I call Keith and tell him the whole story. He assures me the cops won't be coming and tells me to forget the booth and get some sleep.
Which I do.
And the cops never come, which now makes me worry that I have the most indifferent neighbors who would ignore my screams of terror when the serial killer gets me.
And I have been playing catch up ever since.
Now you know why there haven't been any blogs this week.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Eddie-tor's Note: We contacted Eleanor of Aquitaine to verify her involvement in the incident, but she denied any knowledge of it. "Do I look like the sort of medieval English queen who would be the past life of a foul-mouthed peasant who runs around in his undergarments?" she said, as she brushed a few rainbow sprinkles off her gown. The cupcake was unavailable for comment. Calls to Chiquito went unreturned. The neighbors wouldn't answer their doors. It is highly possible that these might be the ravings of a madman.