For the last two weeks Assad has been treating us to chilling pyrotechnics far beyond anything a teacher's salary could muster.
From the rebel stronghold of Salaheddine the explosions come thick, fast and terrible, like the roars of a wounded beast. Helicopters thwack overhead and the shrieks of MIG jets make our five-storey tenement tremble.
It took 16 months for Aleppo to wake up to the revolution – now I wonder if anyone will ever sleep again.
Fighting rages around the Citadel, but 20 minutes' walk north our run-down neighbourhood is eerily calm. A few tiny grocers sell dwindling essentials. The street corners are piled with rubbish but everyone is staying indoors. The occasional taxi putters by demanding quadruple the peace-time rate.
We knew these days were coming. Last month we'd sit on our balconies watching the glowing red tails of rockets as Assad targeted the rebel lands to the north. "There they go, off to liberate another village!" we joked.
Black humour is in full supply in Aleppo; there's no bread, cooking gas or phone coverage, but we have sarcasm.
My parents and sisters left last week for the northern countryside. A dozen of my cousins are already there volunteering with the rebel army. Now it's just myself and an elder brother in our three-room apartment.
At sunset we break our fast with cold tinned tuna then venture out to Aleppo centre through the regime checkpoints. Dissent here has been signalled in the smallest ways: the local barber scrambling to switch off Al Jazeera; a week-long pro- and anti-Assad debate conducted via graffiti on a school wall.
Our local "Assadis" are keeping a low profile. A few months ago an empty shop-front reopened and shaven-headed hulk-like men began to gather there in the evenings.
Tuesday's events might make these shabiha think twice. The rebels seized three police stations in Salhin, Bab Al-Nerab and Hanano after supposedly making a truce with the al-Barri family which lent the regime civilian muscle. The al-Barris broke the pact, killing several rebels. In revenge, the rebels cornered scores of them in Sher Osman neighbourhood, dragged a dozen outside against a wall and sprayed them with Kalashnikov fire.
The international community condemned the executions – "Where is the democracy? Where are the human rights?" – as if we've seen any of those things in 40 years. I didn't celebrate but I understand the rebels' message: "The Assad regime won't help you. You mean nothing to them." Revolutionaries aren't prophets or saints, they love and they hate just like the rest of us.
In the quiet parts of Aleppo we're still hiding these emotions. Earlier in the week I walked the cobbled lanes of Jedidah on the fringes of the centre. Armed men lurked in the shadows, visible by the glow of their cigarettes: the people's committees formed by the Assad regime. Who knows if they'll put up a fight should the rebels come.
I've known my companion, Kamal, since high school, but he's like a chameleon, mirroring the views of whomever he meets. In Suleimanieh, a Christian area with the city's Orthodox cathedral, we sat with a handful of his friends near one of the regime's torture centres.
"Khelset," they insisted. It's over. Far-off gunfire crackled and one man, a security officer, touted the Syrian army's latest "victory".
"They captured 5500 men – half from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. Some of them were Turkish generals." They all nodded, the Grand Conspiracy confirmed. I smiled and nodded too.
Do they really believe it? Aleppo was always a secretive place – it had to be when the wrong word meant the Assadis would take you "to see your uncle". Now we're like two million black boxes. Only if the city falls might we know the truth in each others' hearts.
For now we wait, each day the frontline moves a little closer. I would be jumping for joy if the rebels arrived here, many locals would too. I'm not a fighter but I'd do whatever I could to help bring the Assad regime to an end.
And if the shelling stops and the rebels triumph I'll finally buy those fireworks. It'll be time for proper celebrations.
The writer of this piece has asked to remain anonymous for his own safety.