Friday, March 20, 2009

There goes the neighborhood


Writing that bucolic, peaceful post yesterday about staying overnight at my mom's house, I did not have time to mention one thing.

My car alarm went off!

At quarter past midnight!

On this silent suburban street!! In case you forgot since yesterday what the street looked like, there is another picture I took of it up above.

What do you do when that happens? This has never happened to me before. I was lying by that time in my monastic bedroom, reading that book on Mozart I keep on the nightstand...


... and my eyes were just beginning to fall shut. Reading about Mozart is one of the most relaxing things I can do. Because I have read a million books about him, and I know the whole story by heart, and all the people in his life are like old friends to me, and I love just to open a book about him and read again about whatever.

One day before too long people will be talking like this about my book on Leonard Pennario! (That is a great link to his marvelous performance of Chopin's haunting A minor waltz, by the way. Do not skip it!)

Anyway, so there I am, just at the point of falling asleep. I am just about ready to turn out the light. And that is when I hear this "BEEP!!! BEEP!!! BEEP!!!!

INCREDIBLY loud!

Now, I am a city girl. Here is where I realize how urban I have become. My first thought was not: "Oh, dear, my car alarm is going off." My first thought was: "Oh, gee, someone's car alarm is going off." And I am waiting for someone else to fix it.

Because in my neighborhood -- perhaps at this point I should say my "hood" -- car alarms go off all the time and no one thinks anything about it. The car alarms just blend in with the boom cars and the sirens (I am right around the corner from one of the busiest fire stations in the city) and the howls of the monkeys at the zoo. Not to mention the howls of the neighbors. There is that too!

But the other night, the car alarm keeps going and no one comes to its aid. That was when it occurred to me it could be mine.

I leap up out of bed and look out the window and sure enough, the lights in the driveway are blinking crazily on and off. What to do? What to do?? I have had this car for several years and the alarm had never once gone off. I scrambled for my keys. Found them. The red button, with the picture of the horn, would that shut the thing up? Please, God! I pushed the button.

And the car alarm stopped.

Deo gratias!! I am saying that a lot these days.

Then I was not sure what to do. You cannot have car alarms going off in this neighborhood. You just cannot. I thought maybe I should disable the alarm but No. 1 I realized I had no idea how to do that and No. 2 I was in these ridiculous improvised pajamas and could not imagine going out in the driveway.

And No. 3, I had this other thought:

Maybe someone was messing with my car!


This will teach them!

Thinking about that calmed me down and within 15 minutes I was asleep and next thing I knew it was day.

A little bit of Buffalo.

That is what I bring to Amherst, when I spend the night there.

1 comment:

David said...

Well I certainly hope it was NOT someone messing with your car!!!! In case it was, maybe that car alarm is the best thing you could have had.