Thursday, November 8, 2007

things that explode in the night

I woke up with a sudden fright in the wee hours last night. Did something outside just blow up? I thought I'd heard a shattering, window-rattling bang. As the minutes stretched on, I lay wakeful. Had I just dreamed it?

Crash! The resounding sound repeated, making me jump. Not imagined then. What was going on? Did my roommate hear it too? She's said she is a sound sleeper, but honestly, how could she sleep through this?

I shifted the curtains aside and peered into the darkness outside. Nothing.

With the cold in the room, I decided there wasn't anything I could do anyway, and persuaded myself to stay in bed. Just as I drifted off, the explosive sound rattled the large windows by my bed again. Surely this time Janelle would wake up also. Maybe this sort of thing happened regularly, and she'd know what was going on. As more minutes passed, I heard no sound of her waking in the other room.

Again the warmth of my bed kept me from getting up, and again I started to fall asleep. Into the half-dream world the sound intruded once more. This pattern continued for quite some time. Scared, but tired and fuddled by sleep, I couldn't summon the gumption to actually get up and see whether this noise could be stopped or even if something was seriously wrong.

After quite a long time of this, a new thought occurred to me. What if one of us had left the stove on and gas was leaking out, and exploding from some source of flame. What about the water heater? The same thing could be happening there!

This idea did finally get me shivering out of bed. I cautiously opened the bedroom door. No smell of gas, but perhaps I'd become accustomed to it. I ventured into the kitchen where no burned wreckage met my eyes. What then was happening? I left our apartment and went next door where I saw the living room lights on although it was 4:15 in the morning. My neighbors must have heard the explosive sounds and were awake too. I knocked on their door. No answer; they had accidently left the lights on when they went to bed.

Now I was thoroughly puzzled. Why wasn't anyone else waking up? The mystery was soon solved. As I returned to my room, I noticed how much colder it was there than anywhere else in the apartment. Aha. When Abraham had come by earlier in the day, I had opened the window and leaned out to tell him I'd be right down. I hadn't properly latched the window, and now it was periodically slamming shut in the wind. Since the frames are metal, and the windows are right by my bed, the sound was loud enough and window-rattling enough to trick my sleep-confused brain into inventing explosions.

If only solving that simple problem hadn't cost me about an hour's uninterrupted sleep...

1 comment:

Roland said...

That's similar to the "gas problem" I have at night too.