Actual Fire Inside My Wall

4:00 AM – I wake up to a popping sound. Huh. Must be my alarm. I grab my phone to turn it off – even though it was a single pop and not that Black Keys song I thought I could never hate. It isn’t my alarm. I also realize it’s four in the morning. Then I remember what the popping sound is. Last night, I turned on my hairdryer, and all the lights in my room went out. And most annoying of all, an outlet on the opposite wall began the arrhythmic snap, crackle, and pop of an electrical incident rather than an innocent breakfast cereal.

So I did what you’d expect a teenager living at home to do: I went to find my parents. …And watched a TV show with them, not once mentioning what my hairdryer had been up to. Afterwards I went upstairs and to bed in my dark room, near my crackling outlet.

Only four and a half hours of sleep. I should at least try for five.

4:30 AM – No luck. My outlet is still crackling. I think it stops a couple of times, and then an extra pound “pop” will ring out. I hadn’t seen any sparks coming out of it last night, but maybe I should check it again. I watch it for a while. I don’t see blue sparks, but when it pops rather than crackles, I see it light up yellow. Fire. It’s probably fine. I can’t just go to sleep though. I end up watching Zoolander and waiting for signs of life downstairs.

6:00 AM – One cup of coffee later I sit in the kitchen with my parents, facing nighttime darkness out the bay window, discussing houses against my will. I’m a little over the housing search. Each listing starts to blend together in an amalgamation of doing something vs. staying where we are. Not all that important seeming when our house is still on the market.

7:00 AM – Dad and my sister have left for work and Mom is dressed. Seems like a good time to mention the electrical issues upstairs.

2:30 PM – The electrician is here. The good news is, it isn’t an issue with the fuse. The bad news is, there’s an active flame in my wall, and there has been since at least four this morning (though really, it had probably ignited last night). The electrician told me this very nonchalantly while he replaced a loose wire. Either I’m sleep deprived, or that was badass. I’m leaning towards it being badass.


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