01 June 2006

Smoke Alarm

Yesterday, we found out that a friend of ours came across some bad luck. His apartment burnt down. He wasn't injured and he managed to get a lot of his musical equipment out. He just doesn't have a home now. I feel terrible for his loss. Thankfully, his cats woke him up to get out in time.

I have been here for two years come this week. We have never once changed the battery in our smoke detector. I told my partner that we should. Everybody should change the battery in their smoke detector every spring and autumn, just to be safe. He told me that it doesn't work properly and there is not even a battery in ours! This does not sit well with me.

I am a constant worrier. It's what I do best. I was raised to worry. My mother is the kind of person who checks to see if the doors are locked about fifteen times before she leaves the house. She checks to see if every appliance is unplugged. It's her constant to-do list in her head. Call her OCD that way. My sister is like this too.

I am a little less neurotic but slowly becoming like them. I check to see if my partner has locked the doors and will worry if I don't know for sure. I'm a little less crazy when it comes to the unplugging of appliances but many a nights I have rechecked the ashtray just to know for certain that all butts were appropriately ashed out. Sometimes at night and before I fall asleep, I have vivid images that float in my head about me in bed - holding a cigarette and falling asleep. It's very surreal and I wake up all panicky only to realize I am simply in bed. We don't even smoke in the bedroom anyway. Well, we did once - after a sleepy and saucy morning, when I first visited here. I ended up dropping a lit ash into my armpit. Don't ask me how, but I wear a little scar because of that!

So now, we live without a smoke detector. It makes me very paranoid. It seems that so many buildings here go down in flames. I don't know if it's faulty wiring or carelessness or gang wars. Regardless of the reason, it does not sit well with me. I've been watching too many episodes of Dead Like Me or something - I don't want to go down in a blaze of glory. I'd rather fall asleep peacefully in a cold snowbank, if I had the choice of either two. Actually, I don't want to go out like that either.

This is on my mental to-do list. Get a smoke detector. Put fresh batteries in it. Live with some reassurance.

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