When Your Power Goes Out Without You

September 12th, 2013

A lack of electricity generates certain longings on another dark and stormy night.

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The last gray glimmer of day fades behind the storm that made our electricity go out on a blind date without us. Like the pioneers, I sit and write by candle light. Unlike our forefathers, my iPhone sits next to me, pinging alerts about my Facebook friend’s power outages and pictures of other’s food or funny selfies. Tesla and Steve Jobs must be rolling their eyes and L-ing out L.

This blackout has also served to remind me why I got high grades throughout Elementary School in every subject besides penmanship (well, I blew at Math too, but for the purposes of this narrative, let’s just confine it to handwriting).

Things I Take For Granted, in no particular order:

  • Spell check
  • Refrigerators
  • Palatino
  • The Detroit Tigers in High Def.
  • Any moving picture, really, besides the gruesome reflection I see mirrored in the window by candle light
  • Erggh, Spell check again
  • Sump pumps …
  • Phwew!!

Two hours in and the family has resorted to cannibalism. I’d give my left arm for electricity. Whoops, I almost actually did! I try to text our Power to see how its date is going. I’m told the electricity just isn’t there.

My wife lurks somewhere in the house with ingenious battery-operated reading glasses. I gave them to her for Christmas and I curse my magnanimity as one of the wicks next to me abruptly flickers out.

Note: Look up “magnanimity” once IF the power ever comes back.

What The #$%! The candle wick sprits and pops, sending out a waxy contrail arc. Damn! That never happens when I’m typing in Word. I’m terrified of re-lighting its sister wick that also just sputtered dark.

You know, I realize it’s just because I can’t open the fridge right now for fear of losing the stored up chill, but a beer would taste absolutely divine right about now. I make a mental note to create a Belgian beer and Vanilla ice cream shake once that snappy, sparkly, crackingly lovely electricity comes back into our lives.

Wait, is our home actually haunted? Nope, just an eerie looking wife with robot spectacles lying there in the darkness. Heart beat slows back down to 300 beats a minute.

My daughter has long-since abandoned us to a friend’s house with power, ostensibly to do homework. She gleefully texts me that her high school is running on backup generators. I don’t have the heart to tell her it’s probably like a giant snowstorm on a Sunday morning: they’ll have it worked out well before the first bell tomorrow.

Three hours later. Power returns home, slightly tipsy and not at all apologetic. I turn on every electric device in the house. Frozen beer shakes for everyone!!

(Not really. Actually, I wander around with my flashlight still in hand, trying to correct the clocks that aren’t connected to the outside world. Halfway through, I realize I don’t need a flashlight and just flip on the overhead light. How quickly we adjust.)

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