THE POWER OF POWERLESS

I played with settings yesterday, and part of this was sent out as an excerpt. (My humble apologies...)  

     This afternoon, after my digital recorder broke that contained two hours of important information that I needed to type, I wanted to cry (the kind I'd envied kids doing on the floor at work.) I was distracted from that impulse when the lights blew out... again, and I heard Matthew sigh. The house did not seem to settle into a chill, it rather felt like a flash frost.

     That is it! I am out of here! I thought. Time to exercise some control over SOMETHING. I was headed for a green tea latte (now that is power, right?) and then the library to plug in my electronics and salvage what I could of the day.

     Jericho Turnpike was bumper-to-bumper, odd numbered license plates waiting for gas. I u-turned to cut through the back end of the neighborhood and discovered as I rounded one of Long Island's famous curvaceous roads (designed by a hyperactive child armed with a crayon) that there were LIPA trucks double parked, conducting miscellaneous tasks all over the street, on each and every street. I felt defeated as I drove home with my pitch-forked tail between my legs and pulled into the driveway.

     Fine! But I am staying RIGHT HERE! I never want to see another candle again, and I will not go into a cold, dark house!

     Suit yourself, big baby.

     Shut up!

     I spotted a National Grid truck parked across the street from my house, something I never knew existed until this storm. Are these people not needed to man the bigger than life grid, wherever that is? What if that goes out next?

     "What's the word on the power?" I asked, feeling my jaw square, like Don Corleone: Tell me something I want to hear.

     "Eh, your power was turned off deliberately, so that the lines could be worked on in the back."

     With Dad's perilous condition in mind, I wondered about the consequences of not getting advance notice of the switch-flipping. Perhaps nobody could go door-to-door, but it sure would be helpful for somebody who was, say plugged into a medical device to get a headsup that their generator, provided they owned one, would need to be gassed up... again. My feelings were not entirely unselfish, but included my own frustration. But for the noble and not so much, would it be fair to ask that somebody drive through the neighborhood with a megaphone? They could say something we'd all relate to:

     LIGHTS OUT, FOLKS, LIIIIIIIGHTS OUT! We are repairing the lines for the people that you selfish folks forgot about while you brewed your morning coffee in your toasty warm kitchens and flipped your light switches. Welcome back, folks! Welcome back to the world of asking yourself what you have to feel depressed about. You'll light your candles and get reasonable: Okay, so no heat, no light. It could be worse, you creep!

     "Oh, so they're working on the lines?" I asked.

     She nodded.

     "Yes. There are about eleven trucks back in the neighborhood."

     "Yes, I saw them."

     Within two hours, I was back in the house, lighting Christmas cookie scented candles (and autumn spice and Jack Frost...) saying a prayer for those who have had no relief at all from the power outage.

     Okay, no heat, no light. It's okay... really!