It’s 6:30 on Saturday morning. I stayed up late last night, filling numbers into an Excel spreadsheet. In our family, we like to do our taxes last minute; that way we get to stress out and yell at each other a lot. Oh joy.
Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. The sound moves really fast. And it’s really loud. You’ve heard it before and you put your hands over your ears.
Then it is quiet, but not long enough for me to fall back asleep. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.
Didn’t we move to suburbia to avoid the pounding of metal into concrete first thing in the morning?
I get up, go to the window, look out for the guilty party.
What’re you doing? the husband says. He is still in bed, all the covers on his side, per usual.
Trying to figure out where that noise is coming from, I say.
I don’t think it’s down the street, he says
Oh no? I say. I’m a little miffed at his know-it-all-ness. Then where might the jackhammer be coming from?
He laughs. Jackhammer? I guess it sounds a little like that but I think it’s more like a woodpecker sound. He pauses, waits for the sound but it’s during the lull.
Then it comes again. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.
I can’t figure out what he’s tapping against, he says.
The husband jumps up, disappears downstairs for several minutes. The noise stops. Then it returns for a minute, stops for two or three, returns again for a minute, stops again for two or three. Then it begins again and stops again. Two minutes pass. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. No more ba-ba-ba-ba-ba.
The husband returns to bed. Gets under the covers, closes his eyes, and turns his back to me.
No, no, no.
I shake him. He turns around, his expression says, Let me get back to sleep.
The noise stopped. I say. I’m often teased by my family for stating the obvious. What’d you do?
I opened and closed the flue a few times and it seems to have scared him away.
So it WAS a woodpecker?
He nods. And smiles. And closes his eyes. I let him go back to sleep.
I lie awake and try to hear the sound again, even though a few minutes ago, all I wanted was for it to stop. How could I think a woodpecker was a jackhammer? I try to concentrate, but I keep hearing Woody Woodpecker in my head: na-na-na-NA-na, na-na-na-NA-na, na-na-na-na-na. Of course I didn’t think it was a woodpecker. The woodpeckers in MY world sound like Woody. Real woodpeckers pecking against the inside of our chimney sound like jackhammers (at least the ones I’ve heard on commercials or in cartoons).
I’m a dreamer. I live in my imagination whenever I am able. Sometimes this makes me seem not-so-smart. And in some situations, I admit, I’m not the person to turn to for guidance. At those times, you should turn to the person in my family who is fully grounded in reality. I know I turn to him in those situations despite my being miffed when his reality is right and mine is wrong.
I’m glad in this case, he was right. If not, right now I would be walking down the street in my pajamas looking for the crazy person with the jackhammer. The neighbors who wake up early on Saturdays probably would be looking out their windows nodding knowingly. She’s really lost it this time, they might say to one another.
What can I say? Saved again by my man. Like in a fairy tale.
Uh oh. There I go again.
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