Nightwork: the siren


Today I was woken up by the not so sweet sound of the Severe weather siren monthly test. The sirens in my neighborhood are old. The sound rouses me and I panic. Should I lock myself in the bomb shelter or just duck and cover? Oh wait, this isn’t an air raid. This isn’t even 1940 or London either, but Minneapolis 2017.

I push up my eye mask, light seeps into the room. I try to calculate what day it was and if this is cause for real alarm. I don’t remember the weather reports. I haven’t been paying attention. But wait, yes, it is the first Wednesday of April. I shake my fist at the sky as Bukowski gives me a sleepy one-eyed glare.

“Stop shaking the bed,” he says.

There was no hope for getting back to sleep. I was quite thoroughly roused by the droning siren. Unfortunately, sleep before that was punctuated by several awakenings, not to mention the crazy dream. Now I find myself sitting at work, staring at the bulk of the shift still ahead of me and threatening to nod off if I get too relaxed.

The thing about night shift is that you have to get used to it. Then as soon as you think you’re used to it, your body decides it has other plans. Despite wanting to go to bed early and being tired, you’ll remain awake until 6am, whether you like it or not. Forget about a social life, there’s only a small window where you’re awake as well as your friends who are on day shift. Sometimes the peace and quiet of night shift is not a good enough of a benefit to outweigh the need for human interaction. Someday I may turn into that old woman holding up the checkout line, because the cashier is the only person I’ll talk to all day. Not that my cat doesn’t carry on some conversation.


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