It’s 4:16 am. Silence spreads all over the house: no sounds at all. Francesco, covered by at least 12 blankets is sleeping inside his comfortable twin bed. His roomate Felipe, joined with a couple Brazilian friends, left home yesterday morning, decided to spend the weekend in Las Angeles also known as LA. Francesco is by himself in the room. The sun hasn’t risen yet. The darkness is still part of San Diego city. But something is about to happen. Something very annoying is ready to ruin Francesco’s morning and freak him out very bad.
Beep (an elettronic and loud sound occurs the room).
Francesco opens his eyes. He checks the time: it’s 4.17 am. He doesn’t understand why he’s awake. He rolls on his right side even if he normally prefers to stay on the left one.
He likes the way how his two pillows are so soft and comfortable piled up the way they are, one on the other. He likes to hug one of them when he sleeps. After a few minutes, he refalls asleep.
Beep (the same loud sound again).
Francesco, kind of disappointed and with a bit of anger, opens his eyes again. Checking the whole room around, he’s wondering what’s going on. His face looks very sleepy and one of his eye is barely opened. “What the hell is that beepy noise breaking into my dreams?”, he is wondering while he is drooling on his pajamas. The high frequency of the sound made him confused and uncapable to understand where it came from. He checks his cellphone even though he knows it doesn’t have that kind of ringtone, and most important thing, he realizes that the day before he didn’t set any alarm clock for the day after. His cellphone’s screen doesn’t show anything other than the regular background image picturing three palms tree and a couple surfs leaning against a wall and the actual times shown in the middle of it: it says 4.21 am. The cellphone is not the problem.
Beep. beep. beep. (the sound occurs in the room again).
He suddenly stands up and starts killing everything which could make an elettronic sound like that one. He takes off batteries from the roomate’s laptop, the bedside clock, the wall clock, the wireless joystick of the Xbox (even if it sounds stupid… yes, he did it) and for being sure he unplugs the room phone, the Xbox and the charger of the camera Nikon D40. After a short amount of time he actually decides to turn off the whole power strip which includes television, a few speakers, a desk lamp, a broken dvd player and a working one. Satisfied of his work he goes back to sleep.
After ten minutes of silence he prodly thinks he won the battle. Yes, he thinks he won it against the beeper, whatever it was.
Beep. (the same sound again).
Eyes open again. Francesco is terrified. He doesn’t even try anymore to find the “guilty” elettronic device which is ruining his sleep. He goes to the kitchen to make himself some tea to calm down and relax. It’s cold in there, even more than it was in the bedroom. He is shaking but he is comforted by the fact that the hot tea is almost ready to warm up his cold body. He takes his cup of hot water out of the microwave and in it he steeps some black tea he found into that little mexican figure on ledge above the sink. He seats down on one of the bar stool next to table and he finally takes a seep of his bitter tea.
Beep. Beep. Beep. (the sound comes from the room, far away from the kitchen but still there).
“Jesus Christ, what the fuck the hell it’s wrong this morning”, loudly talking to himself. He leaves the tea on the counter running than forward to his haunted room. “The cell phone!” he thinks. Francesco remembers he hasn’t tried to turn the phone off yet. “That’s the last thing remained that can make that annoying sound”. He quickly opens the cover up and hitting the phone against his carpal, he makes the battery pops out. “It’s been a piece of cake”, he says. “You were the one, such a bastard. I swear to God tomorrow I’ll sue AT&T to be making defecting ph…”
Beep. (another annoying noise occurs in his room).
He wants to punch something but at the same time he wants to cry. He doens’t know what to do. He checks the time: it’s 4:58 am. “Cristo, voglio dormire”, swears in Italian.
It’s been almost 40 minutes that Francesco is been trying to sleep even if the sound drives him crazy. He tries to cover his ears with the pillow unsuccessfully. He doesn’t like his pillows anymore. He is rolling around inside his bad, like a carp kept outside the sweet water of its own river would do.
Suddently, a shocked expression on his face: he just remembered that sound. Yes, it was something he has already heard in the past. He heard that sound when Tim, his old roomate, was still living with him. “Oh my God, it doesn’t make any sense”, he thinks, “it cannot be that!”. He gets closer and closer to the thing. With a intrigued expression, he observes the thing for a few minutes waiting for a cocrete prove. He doesn’t feel anymore the tiredness. Now he is like an impatient hunter about to kill his prey no longer far enough to escape from him. He is as close as he can, about to put his hands on it and then disconnect its battery forever.
“Shit. Damn it. You fuck ass. My fucking ears. Fuck. Jeezzz Crist my Ears. Ahhhh!”, swearing by himself in the room. He quickly opens that little rounded yellow device attached to the ceiling and with violence he rips the battery out of it obtaining then the deserved silence.
That was it. That was the end of the defective fire alarm installed in Francesco’s room.
, another old experience with the same fire alarm.