I smelled gas last night. I dived off the kitchen checking all the burners and sniffing - loudly.
No – nothing there, all off.
I went to bed and then I smelled gas.
Diving down stairs, I went to check that I really had turned off the burners or perhaps it wasn’t gas at all but another strange substance – like fish.
I’d had fish for supper.
I went back to bed and tried to settle and then my heart started pounding.
Is this the end? I thought, leaping out of bed. Will I wake up stiff as a corpse?
Downstairs again. I ran into the kitchen … sniff …sniff …sniff.
Perhaps it’s the second sign of dementia, imagining smells where there are none?
So I checked.
No, the first sign of dementia is leaving the gas on.
The second sign of dementia is not noticing that it's on!
So then I go back to bed and wonder if there is an explosion which of my possession should I rescue. That took me perhaps fifteen minutes of thought but it was an interesting exercise, trying to decide what was valuable and what was not.
Still unable to sleep, I climbed and peered out of the window, wondering if I would break my neck or my leg jumping out. That’s when I settled on taking just my Memory Stick
Then I thought, that’s rather a good position to be in – uncaring about material things
But even then I couldn’t get to sleep because I still smelled gas.
In bare feet and wearing only a nightdress, I went into the street, still sniffing, and saw my neighbour’s light on.
‘Can you smell gas,’ I said, phoning him. (and probably waking him up)
‘Yes, it was me. I turned the wrong burner on. My gas bill will be enormous.'
My neighbour’s a hell of a lot younger than me and can’t possibly quote the forgetfulness of old age as an excuse. It’s common knowledge (at least his and mine) that all his delicious cooking smells float straight through the kitchen wall, so wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that gas would too?
I went to bed, but left my window open, just in case.
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