Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Wake & Shake

Wake & Shake
by Rob Cottignies

First weekend in my new apartment. The move was gradual but is now a full reality.
It's Saturday night but I'm not going out. I'd rather get things in order. And I'm tired. I'm always tired.
Early sleep welcomes me. I overcome the bass drum from downstairs and drift away.
Was that my doorbell? I haven't even heard it yet. Did I actually hear a bell? Dreams wake me like this all the time.
Puzzled, I continue to lay.
That was no dream. It sounded intense. There is some talking in the hallway. No one I know would do that.
A bit scared, I continue to lay.
Something is going on. How did I not notice those red flashing lights from outside?
Perhaps assuming anything at 4:30 in the morning is foolish.
I open the door. Four firemen, dressed like... firemen.
There was carbon monoxide in the lounge downstairs. People went to the hospital. It may have risen to my apartment.
I let in a tall fireman with an axe and another with some electronic device. This is bizarre. This may still be a dream.
From the hallway I hear, "I feel bad waking him up but at least he did wake up."
That struck me.
This could have been the end. What a sad way to go. Done in while asleep because of a furnace leak or something.
The fireman's device says I am not in danger. I trust the stranger relaying information from a machine.
He says he likes my Pantera shirt before they leave for the other apartments.
Oddly, I feel safe.
I go back to bed. Internally freaking out, I continue to lay.
An hour, maybe two, and the truck leaves. The lights are gone.
All is well. I'm glad they told me I'd be fine. I'm furious they woke me up.
I hope my detectors are working...

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