So, I’ve had this ridiculous cold that’s come and gone for something like six weeks. It manifests itself with a tickling, persistent cough that wakes me up in the middle of the night. I fumble for the medicine cabinet, grab the Chloraseptic and start spraying frantically, so’s I don’t wake Steve. That happened last night, at 3 a.m.

Then, at 5:50, I heard a nearby smoke alarm chirping. You know, that bloody irritating sound they make when they’re out of batteries. I had my earplugs in and tried to deny that there was an insistent chirping noise outside my bedroom door, since Steve was having no trouble doing that. I felt that he should share in this experience, so I elbowed him. He didn’t move. I shoved him, nicely.

“What?” he grumbled. Steve is difficult to wake.

“There’s a smoke alarm chirping, and I can’t reach it,” I told him. That was a tiny fib, because I didn’t exactly know if I could reach it.  Steve’s tall, so it seemed reasonable to expect him to handle it. Right?

“I don’t hear it,” he said.

“Well, I do. And it’s right outside Bini’s door, so it’s bound to wake him up.”

That did it. Steve heaved himself from bed and went to look for the offending chirping. At our old house, all I had to do was open the smoke alarm and rip out the battery, and we’d be good until I remembered to buy another one. But this smoke alarm will not be silenced. I heard Steve struggling with it, while it chirped ever more aggressively. After about ten minutes, he came back in and flopped back into bed.

“What happened?” I asked, as though he’d been tussling with a crocodile.

“It won’t shut up,” he said. “I wrapped it in some blankets and buried it in the room.” He put in his earplugs.

By then, it was after 6 a.m., and I knew it was pointless to try and go back to sleep. So I lay there, for 50 minutes, until the alarm went off. Then I made Steve get up and make coffee.

In two weeks, I think I might have to be more participatory.

Off to buy a 9-volt battery.

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