Friday, October 29, 2004

Electric Avenue

Yesterday morning, I awoke to the nostalgic sound of my favorite 80’s and 90’s music:

“…saw him dancing there by the record machine…”


7 minutes later:
“…experience has made me rich and now they’re after me…”


7 minutes later:
“…and she’s loving him with that body, I just know it…”


7 minutes later:

7 minutes later:

Finally, my internal body clock kicked in and told me that something was amiss. Where were my tunes? I squinted at the clock to see what time it was and saw – nothing. No blurry numbers, no numbers at all. I flipped on my light and nothing happened.

I shot out of bed immediately, fearing that it might be 9:00am, but as I fumbled for my watch, I discovered that it was only 6:23am. But what had happened? Why didn’t my clock or my light or my computer work?

Oh god. The power is out. What am I going to do? How will I dry my hair? How will I iron my pants? How will I toast my poppy seed bagel? I can’t eat a raw bagel like some kind of savage!

It’s times like these that I really wish I had kept my Y2K readiness kit. I’m so hungry, and my throat is so dry! Boy, would some sweetened condensed milk and sardines taste good right about now.

I’ve always heard that you can really learn a lot about yourself in times of crisis, but I never knew how true that saying was until this exact moment. I learned quite a few things about myself, as I stumbled across my pitch black apartment like Mr. Magoo.

Mostly, I learned that I really like electricity. I had never really given it much thought prior to this moment, but I do. I really like it.

I also learned that unless you are adequately self-medicated, you should never, ever, look at yourself in the bathroom mirror using only the harsh glare of a flashlight. There’s really no effective way to use a flashlight to look at yourself, other than to slowly scan the surface of your face in a searchlight fashion, like a warden looking for an escaped prisoner. Or you can hold it under your chin like you’re telling a ghost story.

My god! I’m hideous! Why didn’t my friends ever tell me that I look like David Carradine? The unforgiving beam of the flashlight amplifies every pore, each wrinkle, and every imperfection in the skin. I quickly trashed the flashlight in favor of the adoring glow of a candle. Oh look! I’m lovely!

[Sidebar: I’d like to take a moment to thank my Aunt Therese – even though she doesn’t read my blog, or know what a blog is, or own a computer – for giving me candles for every major and minor holiday for the past twelve years. I never appreciated them as much as I did yesterday morning. Thanks to her thoughtfulness, I was able to find my way around the apartment by smell: lavender was the living room, cinnamon was the kitchen, vanilla was the bedroom, and so on. Thanks, Therese!]

Just as I started to make out my last will and testament, and size up my cats to determine which one I would eat first if the blackout continued much longer, I heard a strange sound. I think that my senses had become heightened due to sensory deprivation, so like a desert fox, I put my ears to the ground to trace the source of the sound. In addition to the gnawing of termites eating away at my floorboards, I also heard the mechanical whining of my DVD player turning back on.

The electricity is back on! I can see again! O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! I ran around my apartment flipping on all of my appliances.

Toaster – works!
Hair dryer – works!
Computer – works!
Television – works!
Microwave – works!
Air conditioner – works!
Jack LaLanne Power Juicer – works!

I can’t recall the last time I felt this elated. I twirled around my apartment in a joyous interpretive dance, swaying and twisting to the dizzying hum of technology. And then, of course, I blew a fuse. But no matter! I knew that this new blackout was just a temporary one, ended quickly by the simple flip of a switch.

After thanking the electricity gods, I went back into the bathroom to touch up my hair, where I learned that you should never apply makeup by candlelight. I was shocked to see that I looked like I was auditioning for Victor/Victoria. Left half = man, right half = woman. Left side = Jason Robards, right side = two dollar whore. I quickly rebalanced my makeup, and was once again all woman.

I ate my bagel, watched a few minutes of the Today Show, and checked my email, relieved that the world was once again back in synch. These were the longest and most terrifying 53 minutes I’ve ever endured. Oh sweet, sweet electricity. Please don’t ever leave me like that again. I promise, I’ll never take you for granted!