To the Editor:
Did I mention that I have been told that I am profoundly deaf? It’s 6 a.m. and my smoke/CO detector in my bedroom is relentlessly letting me know that something is wrong. I quickly run into the kitchen to check our gas stove. It is in lock mode and no smell there. I run down to the basement furnace, but since I never have the furnace on at night, no smell of gas there. Back in my bedroom, I repeatedly press the reset button on the detector to no avail. Endless warning blasts that something is wrong.
Better safe than sorry, I call 911 … asking them to not use the siren so as not to bother my sleeping neighbors. I am told to wait outside in the cold. Instead, I open the front and back door and wait. Within ten minutes, the firetruck appears and four firemen approach my front door. I explain the situation and all four men head toward my bedroom. I follow.
All of them were taller than I so I peered through the spaces between their bodies. I explained my futile attempts to silence the noise without success. In a calm steady voice, the lead fireman says to “let him through.” The sea of firemen parts and I enter my bedroom. With professional resolve he points away from the ceiling and toward the pillow on my bed, behind which is the culprit of my angst. My alarm clock is relentlessly reminding me it is time to get up. Did I mention that professionals have told me I am “profoundly deaf?” That I hear most sounds, but do not always interpret them accurately. I apologized.
New panic arose: will there be a charge? “No charge,” says the lead firemen. So these four firemen, all of whom I most likely awoke from a sound sleep, climbed back into their truck and were gone. Not one look of incredulous bafflement, not one bit of laughter. ( Of course, maybe I didn’t hear it.) I mean, even if they had a good chuckle on the way back to the firehouse, I couldn’t blame them. In fact, they have my blessing to share this work fiasco with wives, girlfriends, family and friends.
So though I am chagrinned, I am also thankful that those four men took my panic seriously and rushed to qualm my fears, no matter how baseless they turned out to be.
Thank you all for doing your job so well.
— Robert Matthew Di Angelo