Darkness looms

About 7:20 yesterday evening, I was watching the cold front come in — one of the unalloyed joys of living in this neck of the woods is that you can actually see the fronts arrive, as the winds shift around and the tree limbs alter their trajectories — when the air was filled with the unmistakable sound of electrical equipment exploding, and electrical power on this side of the street was killed stone dead.

Now I’ve seen power outages here before, as recently as last week. But this one was different somehow, and not for any electrical reasons. I’m working on a story, and one of the characters has only just explained that he’s going briefly into seclusion, because he knows a panic attack is coming on, and he doesn’t want his lovely bride to witness him at his worst just yet.

Then all of a sudden I’m at my worst. I didn’t start that way, but when the first crew arrived and announced that they could handle part of the problem, but we’d have to wait for the boys from Dover for the heavy stuff, I became despondent. And when the second crew spent five minutes on the curb, then vanished into the darkness, I was just about ready to tear my hair out. From the inside.

I sent three tweets from my still-charged cell phone, each one a little more despairing. This was the last: “I suppose this is how I will die — alone in the dark and abandoned.”

Which, unfortunately, is very much in character, and not for that fictional character either.


  1. McGehee »

    2 May 2013 · 2:56 pm

    Whether I die alone will depend on whether somebody’s trying to speed me on my way.

    Why yes, I have been told I’m a bloody-minded cuss.

  2. Lynn »

    2 May 2013 · 4:36 pm

    Is this the pity party post? For the first time ever in my life it is cold on my birthday and I have nothing to do but try to keep a puppy from pooping in the house. Have I mentioned that I’m not a dog person?

  3. CGHill »

    2 May 2013 · 5:23 pm

    You have indeed mentioned that.

    Oh, and happy birthday.

  4. jsallison »

    2 May 2013 · 8:14 pm

    Last power outage down here, wife-unit lit up a buncha candles, left some on plastic bins and left while I contented myself reading my kindle. Said buncha candles manage to melt one of the stupid 5 drawer bins and was merrily burning away before I smelt burning plastic. Regular keystone cops thing here til I got it put out.

    Walked to wattaburger for some grubbage and came back to stand on the front steps with some cheap bourbon and the dogs and watch the clouds go by and lightning do it’s thing til the house aired out and the power came back on. Bought a metric buttload of cheap led flashlights, scattered them about the house and pronounced jihad on candles

  5. fillyjonk »

    3 May 2013 · 7:35 am

    The “dying alone” thing, I think most of us who live alone have that fear. I’ve had instances of nearly choking on food, nearly falling in the shower, and having migraines bad enough that I wondered if they were actually aneurysms.

    And I think most of us who live alone feel abandoned periodically. Or as I put it: “No one loves me.” Intellectually, I know that’s untrue, but emotionally, some days, it FEELS true.

    (Ugly secret: one of the lesser reasons why I don’t have a cat is what allegedly can happen if a person dies in a house with a cat and isn’t discovered for a few days….)

  6. McGehee »

    3 May 2013 · 8:53 am

    That may be why my mother-in-law decided to move herself (and her eight cats) in with Chris and me.

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