The reno, the inspiration for this, The Year of the Big De-Clutter, has begun in earnest. In the basement, more precisely. Yesterday they ripped out walls. Today they’re cutting cement.
The sound of the saw—gasoline powered so there’s the added benefit of fragrance—has made Jake the Cat hide in the closet and howl. Not only that but the house is slowly filling up with dust causing a ceiling smoke alarm near the bedroom to go off for five to ten minutes at a time. I haul a dining room chair up the stairs. Stand on it with my ears six inches from the eeeeeep eeeeep eeeeeep eeeeeep eeeeep eeeeeep, trying to figure out how to turn it off but can’t see any switch so I run around the house thinking, thinking what to do, what to do?? I call Peter at work, leave a less than ladylike message inquiring if he might know how to shut the frigging thing off. Meanwhile the saw is apparently cutting the house in half, Jake watches from his hiding place, mewling, wide-eyed, fur on end, and now Cuddles is throwing out a few questions of her own from behind a closed door where she’s spending the day so Jake doesn’t blame her for all this and inadvertently kill her. I consider going downstairs to find the workmen, ask if anybody knows anything about smoke alarms but they’d never hear me and, anyway, I’m not sure I want to interrupt a guy with a saw that loud and that big.
The answer, I decide, is to smother the thing, I grab some garbage bags to tape over it but the only tape that’s handy is the green painters’ kind, which doesn’t stick to the stucco ceiling (another reason to hate stucco).
But it does stick to the alarm itself. I put layers and layers of it on the bastard.
And then it stops.
At least in the real world. I can still hear it inside my head, right behind my eyes, next to my headache.
Then it starts again.
But oh blessed miracle! I notice the saw has shut off for a moment so I run downstairs and in a probably too loud voice tell the guy to come upstairs with me. He looks concerned, unsure. Should I take my boots off? he says and I say, no, no, it’s okay, you can keep them on…
I let him stand on the dining room chair with his boots, which amazes him, makes him chuckle. He pulls the alarm off the ceiling, says it’s hardwired, that’s why I couldn’t find an Off switch. He disconnects it and I say thank you a few dozen times. Possibly still a titch too loud.
He advises I turn off the furnace to cut down on the dust circulating through the house.
All that’s left now is the sound of the saw ripping through cement, which I’m told should be done in about two hours. This would have been depressing news pre-smoke alarm but fortunately my hearing still hasn’t returned to normal.