In a blackout I can’t see my neighbor.

All day yesterday we had strong winds which I thought nothing of at first. Then as it got to be nighttime the winds only grew stronger, which naturally meant that we had a power outage when we needed it the most. I’m fine without light as I have candles around the apartment. I’m pretty bad at remembering to change the batteries in my flashlights but I always have candles on hand. It isn’t so much that I was being prepared as I simply like candles and use them from time to time anyway. Even heat isn’t too much of an issue as I can put on extra layers. It would be nice to have the light to dress by but if I had to I could get by. The biggest issue that I faced was that I had a lot of food in the refrigerator and freezer as I just went grocery shopping the other day.

The second biggest issue is that of fear. I’m not afraid of the dark. I quite enjoy it. But I usually do so on my own terms. Something about that loss of control in addition to the sound of very strong winds outside makes me nervous. I wasn’t in the fetal position shaking. I wasn’t that bad. There was, however, something a little spooky about the whole ordeal. It didn’t help that I got up to go to the kitchen and a bright light flashed around the curtain on the door that led to the outside. In my state of unreasonable paranoia three things flashed in my mind. The first was aliens, the second was for some reason a police officer decided to pay me a visit, and the third was that it was my neighbor from the downstairs apartment. The third was the most likely but was the last I considered. It was the only one I really thought was true, but it other two came first nonetheless. It turned out to be true as he needed some matches. I had accumulated some over the years and was using a barbecue lighter for my candles anyway, so I took the opportunity to unload several books onto him.

The power outage only lasted for about an hour. The eerie feeling didn’t leave immediately like it should have. Instead of taking comfort in the modern usage of electricity in my apartment I was apprehensive that the power could go out again. I kept to my bed just in case. I didn’t want to be up doing something and then have the lights go out again when I wouldn’t be able to see my way back. It was after my bedtime anyway although I had a hard time going to sleep right away with that mood.

I got over it over the course of a night’s sleep. At least I did with the little bit of sleep I got. As usual I woke up about an hour or two before I should have because I was both dehydrated and had to go to the toilet. I can’t say I’m totally blameless. I decided to treat myself to a bottle of Asti with dinner last night and finished the whole thing. Anyway I was up around three in the morning. I wanted to try to go back to sleep for an hour before I had to get ready for work. That wasn’t to be as there were utility trucks, cop cars, and fire trucks driving through my neighborhood with flashing lights and the occasional sirens. Apparently these winds were more damaging than I thought.

So I stayed up. I like the idea of having this extra time in the morning before I go to work. I usually take the attitude that I want work to be the first part of my day so I can have the rest of it to myself. Still, it’s nice to have a bit of extra time to get stuff done before I leave. This blog post is one example. The only problem now is that of bedtime on the other end. As it is now eight o’clock is an annoying time to go to bed but I can deal with it. Do I really want to go earlier?

During my paranoia I did have one disturbing thought. If we do suffer global warming as the environmentalists tell us, it could feel like this. It wouldn’t be one massive cataclysmic event such as the recent storm in the Philipines or floods caused by a glacier suddenly melting. (I swear I read an article recently that there is a group of scientists that now believe that the excess water coming from melting ice caps won’t raise the sea levels after all. Instead that water would seep into the ocean floor. I’m sorry for not doing more research on this as I’m only including it as an after thought although I would be interested in finding that study again.) If we do face some Earth-shattering event as global warming it would start this way: power outages, sirens all over the place and perhaps some confusion. The only thing is that it would be so slow that the confusion would subside. It may not be too late to do anything in that instance. I for one would still be paranoid about cops and aliens, even if I don’t believe in either.


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