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I have a lot of dreams about fire alarms… this one had to be one of the weirder ones.

November 23, 2003, 12:03 AM

Last night I had a dream about fire alarms. Now that in itself was not a new thing. I regularly have fire alarm dreams, believe it or not.

What’s weird is that lately they have been increasing in frequency in the last while. Now usually when I have fire alarm dreams, it’s more specifically that I’m in a school setting, and I am aware that a fire drill is coming.

See, when I was in school, I obsessed over fire drills. Let me tell you, I did. And it was a control thing. The alarm was set off manually for fire drills, and as such, I couldn’t predict the moment when it would go off. And they also never told us when they were coming. And for me, I hated the initial shock of the alarm starting to go off. The sudden intrusion of a loud noise into my comparatively quiet learning environment. Once the alarm was going, I had no problem, and actually enjoyed hearing the alarm. But it’s the initial “RRRRRRRRRRR!” of the alarm (specifically that first “R”) that caused me SO much stress and related health problems in school.

So back to the dream. These dreams are usually all about me fidgeting in the face of an impending fire drill in school. This one was initially no different. In this dream, I was at my old middle school, in class. I knew a fire drill was coming. I’m obsessing over the fire drill coming in my seat in this dream. Rather unpleasant, as I’m fidgeting and squirming waiting for the horns to start blaring.

With me so far?

Now here’s where it gets weird. While I’m in my seat fidgeting, I have a revelation: I’ve graduated high school. What in the hell am I doing here? In the dream, I said, “Why am I here? I’ve graduated.” And so I go right down to the office where the FACP is located.

Now you know how in dreams, things aren’t always as they are in reality. Well, at SDMS, the clock and the FACP look like this:

Stuarts Draft Middle School master clock  Stuarts Draft Middle School fire alarm control panel

This is also about the same position they are in over in the office.

Now in my dream, the FACP looked more like a Cerberus Pyrotronics FACP rather than that big Edwards panel. A lot of it was covered up, though, and it was in that little spot where the clock is in that left picture.

I got into the office just in time to watch Mrs. Garber (principal there for my seventh and eighth grade years) use the drill function on the panel to set off the alarms, which sounded correctly in my dream. (The middle school’s alarm sounds like this)

Additional weird: the particular panel depicted in my dream doesn’t have a drill function. For that particular panel, you have to pull the alarm to run a fire drill. But there it was in my dream, with a white button in the lower left-hand corner as the drill switch.

So the alarms are going off in my dream. That’s when I woke up.

Usually in these kinds of dreams, I never get to the point where the alarms actually go off. Usually the entire dream is about me fidgeting and then I wake up before the fire alarm goes off. It’s rare for an alarm to actually go off in my dreams. It’s happened only once before, when I had this dream in 2001 where the Potomac Hall staff and I were for some unknown reason conducting a fire drill at night at my old high school. Go figure. In that dream, I got impatient about waiting for them to set off the alarms. So I reached in the door and pulled the (correct) pull-station myself. BUZZZZZZZZZZ. The correct alarms went off instantly (which sound like basketball buzzers). Then I woke up. Strange.

I just think it’s so strange. Why so many dreams about fire drills? What made them increase in frequency lately? Why do the alarms usually never go off in the dream? What makes the alarms go off in my dreams when they do go off? It’s a mystery, and it’s one that makes trying to figure out how my mind works a very daunting task.

Categories: Dreams, Fire alarms