In search of story

December 29.21: Coping


Last night I flipped the light switch in an upstairs bedroom and the whole house went dark. I asked every homeowner’s favorite question: now what? Then lights back on. Then off. On. Off. Off…off…

I found myself in a world of India ink. Not a glimmer, not the tiniest shard of light. Groping is a graceless ballet, but just so did I find the stairs, the banister, and warily make my way down. Why, you may ask, did I not think to grab the flashlight that’s upstairs? Because it’s me.

Bumping along, I looked out the front windows. A world without light. Disorienting, unsettling. As I inched through the house, a timid glow startled me. My battery candles! Beacons! My feet steadied immediately, and I made it to the back door, next to my shadowy Christmas tree. The houses across the pond were black. Not a light anywhere. It was as though every person in the world was gone but me.

A lightless world is an empty world.

The power company did me the courtesy of calling to tell me there was a power outage. Really?

Why are the robots never programmed to tell the customer what happened? So far as I could tell, I flipped the switch in an upstairs bedroom and shut down a small city.

How oppressive that solid, unforgiving darkness. What a slamming shut of life. Our fears are never far from us, are they?



14 thoughts on “December 29.21: Coping

  1. I am impressed with your power, Maureen. One flip of the light switch and the community goes dark. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of all the things we take for granted, electricity has to be #1 on that list. When a person loses power to the house, it is like the ship has lost its rudder. I hope it was close enough to bed time, to crawl into bed with an extra quilt, a book light, and a good book. I also hope the power is back on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you! You too!

  3. Hi. I’m wondering if your cell phone has a “lantern” option (a light button). Gosh, I’d be lost without mine from time to time!

  4. I once changed the station on my television, and the whole house – and street – went dark. How peculiar and startling.
    We are so accustomed to electricity… I think of ancient folks when they discover fire, how it changed their world and I keep candles and matches, just in case my modern world fails.
    Make sure to have another flashlight downstairs too ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Ah, yes, the flashlight(s) downstairs! I did eventually remember I had them — the candles reminded me! I confess I laughed to read about your change of channel. Wow. These are some serious powers we wield.

  5. What does that switch really control?

    • There’s the question! I approach it with some uncertainty these days. (Is that the theme from “Twilight Zone” that I hear?)

      • It might be. The Twilight Zone Marathon is off and running. I suggest you zone in on โ€œThe Monsters Are Due on Maple Streetโ€ – Oddly similar to your situation.

  6. You’ve reminded me of the look on babies’ faces when they first are shown that by pressing a switch they can illuminate a room. I am sure your face was a similar picture when you thought you could darken the world. At least you were prepared, though it is not nice when the power fails, especially at night. I trust the power is back on again?

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