1 min read

Friday Open Thread (with Alarms)

close-up of a partially frozen river in late afternoon, a small stick caught on a scrim of ice, surrounded by ripples and flowing water.

Dear Friends,

Last night, for the first time all week, I managed to get to bed by 10:45, intending to enjoy reading some of Arkady Martine’s wonderful A Desolation Called Empire before bed, then conk out, wake early, get a head start on some work.

At 11:00 PM, the fire alarm in our building started ringing.

It was an error. Possibly caused by … flooding? Somewhere? Nothing has been confirmed.

What is certain is that the fire alarm — a sound designed in all particulars against the human capacity for sleep — kept intermittently sounding, for long intervals, between the hours of 11:00 PM and 2:00 AM.

Whether it stopped for good then, or whether my body shut down from exhaustion and learned something about how to ignore fire alarms — definitely not a problem in the longer term — I am not sure. I dreamt I was in a big beautiful house trying to keep Hocus Pocus style witches from coming in from the many, many doors until they learned to ask nicely.

At 8:00 AM, I woke to the sound of drilling being done on the balconies.

This is a longish way of saying: I am exhausted and have all the brain of a damp dish rag. Please tell me something good and nice and heartening. Or subscribe to Max Gladstone’s new Substack! His brain is very good.