Thursday, January 24, 2013
I recall power outages as stealthy things. Suddenly you woke aware that it was lighter outside that it should be. The face of your plug-in alarm clock frozen. Your heart sinking with the knowledge that you were already late for work.
Nowadays, the power-less silence has found its voice. When the power went out here last night around 4:00 a.m., the noise woke me. Beep from the security system. Chirp from the carbon monoxide detector. Beeebeeep from my mother's oxygen machine (don't worry, she only uses it at night and can survive quite well without it.) Thankfully the security system only beeped once. Not like the overly courteous system at my old house. But the noise was good. It woke me, and I took a battery-powered lantern downstairs to my mom's bathroom. She was already awake. "Now you can see if you need to get up," I told her."
"What time is it?" she asked.
"What?" she said. I grabbed the lantern and held up four fingers. "What time is it?" she asked again.
"One, two, three, four," I said again.
"Okay," she said. "Four-O-One."
"Right," I said. Although it was probably 4:05 by then.
I couldn't sleep. So I read some more of "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed and tried not to freak out as my mom yelled and talked in her sleep. Eventually,I drifted off and woke to the clatter of my printer re-booting itself around 5:00. My feet were killing me when I woke. I guess I was hiking with Cheryl in the ten minutes or so that I slept. Luckily the pain was just part of the dream, and my feet were fine as I went back downstairs to check on my mom. She was sitting on the side of her bed, already resetting her clock. Maybe she'd been hiking with us, too--shouting at bears, or foxes, or trying to scare Sasquatch away.
photo credit: todrinkthewildair.com