Saturday, October 15, 2011

a little break

Thursday night, the whole family was sitting on the couch watching an episode of the original Star Trek on the computer (what, we're nerds, okay?), when suddenly, Captain Kirk's smiling face was frozen on the screen.  We were simultaneously plunged into darkness and silence, other than the glow of the laptop.  Our power had gone out.

"Captain Kirk smiles weird.  Why does he always try to flirt with everyone like that?" B said. 

(Look at him.  He does kind of smile weird and try to flirt with everyone.)

Last week, a gasoline truck exploded in the middle of the night, burning down a gas station and causing the first power outage in several years for our house.  As a result, when the power went out this time, there were all kinds of hypotheses about what had happened, mostly involving explosions.  And, for some random reason, police men dying. (At least the police women were spared in all of the domesday scenarios, haha.  It's about time sexism worked in our favor.)

The thing I noticed, though, when the power went out, was how quiet it was.  It's often quiet at night in the suburbs, but this quiet had a different quality.  It was thicker.  When I mentioned it to Kathy, she said, "There must be a lot of electrical things whirring all the time." It's true.  The refrigerator, the fan in the oven, the computers, the cable boxes, all blinking lights at us and making noises, all the time. 

We put the kids to bed, and I rubbed Kathy's back, I read by the light of a flashlight, and we fell asleep early.  There was nothing else to do.  It was nice. 

Until the power kicked back in at 11:45 pm.  I had to run around turning off lights (there were 9 on at the time), and the printer, computers, and kitchen appliances all sprang to life simultaneously.  It seemed so bright and so loud after the heavy, black silence. 
Recently, there was an issue with Blackberries not pushing email, and a surprising number of people were actually happy about it.  People interviewed on the evening news commented that it was a "welcome break." 

It does make me wonder why we have to be forced to take breaks from all our so-called conveniences and can't just do it voluntarily.

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