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post #678
bio: jen

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that week

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When the Lights Go Out

Last night, I had settled in to watch old episodes of MASH when suddenly the power went out. This was not a surprise. There had been a heat wave on Labor Day Weekend, and the power grid was experiencing rolling blackouts.

I got up and found two flashlights I had gotten as freebies at sailing events. I stepped outside and saw that all the houses around me were dark. It wasn't just my house. The streetlights were still on, and the traffic light a block away was still working. The block was dark and quiet. A cool breeze blew through. I took a moment to breathe it in.

Realizing I would be more comfortable outside in the dark than inside in the dark, I went back inside, grabbed my beach chair and phone, and sat myself down on the front lawn. I checked my phone. I could've posted about the blackout, but I'm bad at social media. Besides, I was certain the lights would come back any second.

But they did not.

Ten minutes went by. People started walking past. Some were with dogs. Some were just with themselves. I wondered if people figured, oh well, since there's no TV, might as well go for a walk. I noticed many walkers were in flip-flips which made them waddle as their feet made flippy floppy sounds. A huge utility truck with flashing yellow lights meandered down the street. I wondered if the truck was actually doing something or just showing that they were doing something.

More people walked by. More dogs walked by. I felt more relaxed than I had in a while. I felt a sense of infinite possibility in the darkness with the light breeze. It was all okay. It was even pleasant. It was just a little dark.

The lights came back on after being out for more than an hour. I picked up my chair and went back inside. I set the digital clocks with their flashing twelves back to the correct time.

So much for MASH that night, but there will be more episodes tomorrow.

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