Monday, November 7, 2022

False Alarms

It was 6:56 this morning and I was in the midst of a wonderful dream that saw me traveling to far away lands. Then, in my dream, I heard the unmistakable sound of the Saint Louis area’s civil defense sirens. When I hear this in a dream I instantly wake up because I know it’s not a dream and even though I knew it was the first Monday of the month, the day the test typically is, I knew it wasn’t 11AM. 

Panic ensued. I knew the weather was clear and that there would be no reason for a weather alert to happen. My brain went to the only logical place it could think of and that was a calamity the size of WW3. 

Adrenaline raged through my body. I fumbled trying to get my phone to confirm the end of the world was at hand. As quick as the sirens blared their warning of the end, they quit. All this happened within six seconds time, but as I checked news websites there were no mention of missiles, asteroids, comets, or space giraffes invading from Neptune.  

Slowly, I realized it was an error. There was no test, but there was no emergency. Even though the siren’s noise had ceased, I could still hear it. I hate this aspect of my brain on the autism spectrum; for my entire life the tone and note of a civil defense siren gets etched into my brain in that I continue to hear it for hours to come. 

I’m not sure why there was an error today with it. With the instability in the world, a mistake like that is, I feel, inexcusable because of the connotations that such an alert on a clear morning in fall brings with it. It occurred a little over three hours ago and I’m still on a bit of a heightened alert with the inability to let it go. Eventually I will, things will go back to normal, but it’s still baffling how a false alarm of this magnitude could occur  

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