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cecilia bedelia and the mysterious noise

May 14, 2010

Try as I might, I could not figure out the origin of the odd clanging noise outside my office window yesterday morning.  I easily filtered out the familiar sounds of the lobby: ticking grandfather clock, air blowing through the vent above the desk, occasional clicks and creaks from the ceiling.  Outside, a storm raged.  I heard the distinct sounds of rain, wind and thunder.  But I still couldn’t place the random noise, and it was driving me crazy!

I tried to concentrate on my work, but the clanging kept distracting me.  I had to solve the mystery!  Something about the sound concerned me.  I have experienced a  plethora of weather patterns throughout four and a half years of sitting at the same desk, and whatever I was hearing was not typical during a storm.  It actually sounded like someone was working on the roof, but I was pretty sure none of the building guys were crazy enough to be on the roof of a six story building during a thunderstorm.  So if no one was on the roof then where was that blasted noise coming from?!

I called my co-worker, J, to confirm no one was on the roof, which she did.  When I explained why I was asking, she decided to come out and investigate.

“I’m not making this up!” I insisted after J stood in the lobby for several minutes.

“I never said you were,” she replied but skepticism peered at me through her eyes.  “I just don’t hear it.

She walked around the lobby for a good ten minutes and still didn’t hear anything, even though I heard the noise several times.

Various co-workers walked through the lobby and asked why J and I were alternately peering out the windows and staring at the ceiling.  J’s explanations made me sound like I was losing it.  I tried to plead my case, but my insistence of hearing things no one else could hear seemed to further support the insanity charge.  The others paused to listen for the elusive sound and only heard the clock and the air duct.

After J left, I started to think she was right.  Maybe I was losing it…

About a half hour later, the storm picked up again.  Mr. G, who didn’t hear anything unusual when he had been in the lobby earlier with me and J, just happened to walk through again.  This time he heard the clanging sound loud and clear.  His eyes were wide as he turned to me and said, “Wow – you weren’t making that up!” Ahhh… sweet redemption!

I felt further redeemed when Mr. G and I located the source of the noise: some sort of tubing outside my window had gotten loose and the wind was slamming it against the side of the building.  At times the wind was so strong I was worried the tube would be ripped from the wall, perhaps taking parts of the wall with it!  When the building maintenance guys arrived, they not only found that the tube was loose, but also the anchor was no longer attached to the wall!  “You saved the entire building, Cecilia!” they exclaimed jokingly.

The entire building, half the building, one wall – I didn’t care what I saved.  The mystery was solved, and I was simply relieved to know that I wasn’t losing it.  I heard things because there were things to be heard.  Saving the building was just a bonus!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Felipa Schwartz permalink
    May 14, 2010 4:21 pm

    Wow Cecilia Bedelia saves the day er, the Building!! Good Job Ce!!

  2. Younger Brother permalink
    May 15, 2010 1:29 pm

    “J’s explanations made me sound like I was losing it.”

    I’m not convinced that you’re not crazy.

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