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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The things you hear when you can't sleep

These past few days have been a mix of exhaustion, frustration, and insomnia.

I have been unnaturally tired at times when I should not have been.  I have also spent a lot of time waiting to hear back from people - the police, the insurance adjuster, the window replacement people.

I have installed numerous alarms at my house.  Will they do any good?  If no one heard or paid attention to the sound of a window being smashed, will they hear or pay attention to an alarm?  I am contacting a home security company today.  How much will they charge?

A friend came over to reattach the water heater on my side of the house yesterday.  The inlet pipe coming from the main had been knocked off when whoever was robbing the other side of the house jerked the pipe loose while ripping out all the copper pipes on the other side.  (They apparently didn't use cutting tools, just worked them loose.  How long did that take?)  With that done, I was once again able to spend the night there, since I now had water to the bathroom.

I worked on security stuff until after dark, called a friend I haven't talked to in a while, and then settled down to watch some TV - an episode of NOVA on PBS about feathered dinosaurs and the four-winged dinosaur called the Microraptor.  I was dozing near the end of this program when another friend called to check on me.  We talked for a bit, and then I decided to haul myself up to bed.

Only now, I couldn't sleep.

I don't know how long I lay there awake.  An hour, maybe two.  I listened to the sounds of the neighborhood, the various comings and goings of people and cars.  Those footsteps - are they on my porch, or the porch next door?  Was that noise a car door, or something getting knocked over next door?

I slept eventually, and woke up dreaming of Drew Barrymore, something involving the house and her career.  I fell back asleep for a while and woke to another dream involving a party at my house, in the back yard, with people I didn't recognize sitting at two long picnic tables.  My sister was there, and she had brought something from NASA that was a fold-out map of the night sky that would wrap around into a 360-degree display.  She told me about some neat trick involving the summer solstice, but I couldn't figure it out, even after I had rotated the assembly to display the sky in June.  As I was fumbling with the device the people at the tables started to laugh at me, and I heard one of them say "He thinks he's so smart, and he can't even figure that out."  So I invited the guy with the big mouth to show me, and it quickly became apparent that he had no idea what he was supposed to do with the thing.  Then I woke up.

In a few hours the person from the glass company is supposed to come over, and then the insurance adjuster.  In the meantime I will contact ADT or Broadview or Brinks or whoever the hell does security these days and find out about prices and options.  I will also be doing some security reinforcement of my own.

Eventually I have to go back to work.  And who will be watching the house then?

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