Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Municipal Sleepover

Yesterday dissolved in rain, snow, sleet, whatever. I don't know. I don't have any clever ways of describing it; I drove home on crap tires clutching the steering wheel singing loudly and talking to myself about whether 'One Step Beyond' is a song, a band, or an album. (I think its a Madness song but I'm too lazy to look it up and it kept me from hyperventilating so who cares.)
I was on duty, which meant that from 6pm-6am Wednesday morning, if there was an ambulance call I was obligated to get up, get in the car, and go on it. Fine. I do this every Tuesday. But since the winter craptacula was supposed to fall all night, ending with a nice coating of ice, driving off my hill in a medical-emergency-inspired hurry didn't appeal to me much.

Being volunteers, you are not obligated to stay at the station as paid departments do, but sometimes, we do it because of the weather. Fortunately, we have a 'bunkroom' for this purpose. For free, you can pack up your toothbrush and your jammies and go sleep in the ambulance building. I decided this was better than becoming a dispatched call myself, and I packed a bag.

Early in the evening it seemed like a fun and fine idea. Lots of other people were there, talking and laughing, like they usually are. Then the calls started coming in. I missed the narrow window to acquire something for dinner, its a small town and things close early. Once the rest of the crew left, it was just me in a cavernous garage with my vending machine dinner, a Pepsi and a blueberry Pop Tart. Lest you think that was my crappiest indulgence of the evening I should tell you that I also watched television. *shudder*

Around 10:30 it dawned on me how creeped out I was to sleep in this building by myself. I tried to write, I wasn't feeling particularly humorous, just cold and lonely and I missed my cat. (Pause here and reflect on how pathetic that is. Okay. Go. ) Oh well. I made up my bunk, turned off the light, and snuggled into a space clearly made for a child. Does anyone else remember sitting on the bottom bunk with another kid, I don't know, playing cards or giggling about boys or something? I sure do. Last night I felt like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. I was afraid I'd have dreams about punching through treetrunks; the sheet of plywood that made up the top bunk's base was about five inches from my nose. (In case you're wondering, top bunk was out of the question, what with the nightly peeing and stiff knees and 20/400 vision. Oh, and no ladder.)

Surprisingly, after the last call of the night around 2330 (That's fancytalk for 11:30pm) I did manage to go back and fall asleep. Strange noises and stranger dreams later I woke up to an ice-glazed gray morning and tried hard to remember the golden October day when I drove up to my new house with a car full of computers, weapons, and houseplants. I can't wait for the color to come back to this place.


Ann said...

You pee in the bed at night? You only missed your cat? Am I missing something here?
The ever curious and always amused by your writing no matter what you write about...Ann
PS. I couldn't help saying all that. Reading your entry made my morning. What does that say about me? You are a wonderful writer. You have to submit your stuff, or I'm going to start reading your stuff aloud in my classes for mental breaks. Oh. I already do that. hahahaha

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I should clarify that I mean GETTING UP to pee.
And I didn't ONLY miss my cat; that was just what rose to the surface during my little self-pity session!

Tricia said...

I can't imagine sleeping alone in a public building like that. I don't even really like sleeping alone in my house in my own bed. When my husband went out of town I was okay because the dog slept in the room with me. I wouldn't have slept a wink in that place I'd have laid awake with my eyes closed trying not to hear every single bump and bang and wind noise. You are definitely braver than I am.