Oddments

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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?