It starts between 3:00 and 3:15 most afternoons. My first reaction is oh rats –  not again. I don’t know how to fix it….make it stop. I know why but not how. There’s only one of us who knows what to do and he’s somewhere else.

My second reaction is to take a hammer to it, put it out of its misery. But that would be rash and frankly unpleasant for many people, the police included. They would be at the door within minutes. How would I explain my murderous actions. Big money would ultimately be involved and I’m not prepared to take that risk.

My third reaction….and this is relatively new… to feel bad about it, to feel sorry for it in a way. It’s just doing its job. It means well. It has phantom pain and any one who’s experienced that understands.

It’s the alarm system, of course. What it wants me to do is close the dining room door. I would if I could but I can’t because that door is gone….completely and utterly gone. No more door. Forever and ever gone. How can we tell it that? All it wants me to do is obey its orders…check station 13 (of course it’s 13). The one who’s not home to fix it has a gizmo, put together with scotch tape and super glue that helps but not sufficiently. Our “protector” still wants to take care of its family. Warn us….danger….danger.

So I listen…. …..two seconds between beeps and no way to stop it. There’s not enough valium in the house to ease the anxiety, the annoyance. So I go back to reaction number 3 and try to share in its pain. I’m retired, too, and sometimes I miss my old job, want to help as I did once upon a time. Beep. Anyone got any super-glue or scotch tape handy?