In the torture chamber of beeps, I awoke (if you can call getting up after you've barely slept waking) to find the empty gelato container on my night stand. Yes, after the first onslaught of power outrage beeps, I confess that in my darkened but far from silent house, I mistook my need for peace and comfort for hunger on this first night in over a month with the man who loves me back at his own place.
Somehow in the dark freezer I found the container of pistachio on my first try. I'll have a spoonful while I set the battery lantern in my mom's bathroom, I thought. Another while I tuck an extra blanket around her.
And what is the point of the almost dead battery on the cordless phones continuing to beep? Wouldn't it conserve the battery if they just beeped once or twice? And the security system, doesn't its beep just make me feel more insecure? All of that thinking required more gelato until I sat with it my bed staring out at the dark water, knowing that any minute the Southern California Edison would text me a sincere apology. And that after that they would call expressing more remorse. They did, and I sat spooning the smooth green gelato into my mouth marveling at how light it still was from the car headlights passing by, and from the battery security lights in the offices across the water.
I dozed and then woke to the powering up chirps and beeps, the clack and sigh of my mother's oxygen machine. I dozed again until SCE let me know the power was back on--and they were sorry for the inconvenience (and would that be sorrow over the darkness and the beeping or sorrow over waking me with the texting and the phone call?)
And then it happened all over again, and I surrendered to the wind and the rain. I surrendered to the dark and the sound of my mother talking in her sleep. I surrendered to myself alone in my bed, thinking back to the immediate aftermath of my divorce. Awake for days, and sleep still ruined months later when I finally moved out of the house and into my own place. I could not sleep in the silent emptiness. Sloshing with red wine, I'd load up the CD player and turn up the volume while my dogs waited for the completion of this ritual at the foot of the stairs, the climb feeling like forever, the grief feeling like forever.
And now this life on the water with my mother. With my heart full even when my bed is half-empty. Two more storms are coming, they say. Come wind. Come rain. Drench us out of this drought. I have vanilla ice cream and sea salt caramel gelato in the freezer.
|this morning the water in the marina was so high it obscured the sign with the name of the street|