Did I just turn religious?
Guilty as charged.
When dealing with the possibility of a power outage, all logic goes out the storm window and desperate tactics are required.
The 2003 blackout (see above photo) was an unspeakable horror that had me falling to my knees and praying to a higher power for a resolution.
What a dark, draining nightmare, right out of a low-budget sci-fi thriller!
For one thing, I didn’t have enough cash on hand (though actually, that was OK since there was nothing available to buy with it.)
But to be deprived of light, TV, computer, phones, and refrigerator seemed to put us several notches below the Stone Age.
It became an unwanted exercise in sensory deprivation whereby things you took for granted–like the ability to work and communicate–were yanked away and you were suddenly a low-rent version of Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark.
It was hard to swivel around and feel fabulous when all we had was a bunch of books that you could read with one hand while shining a flashlight at it with the other.
And I honestly didn’t feel like reading. I felt like screaming and praying.
And the streets were absolute madness, since the traffic lights weren’t on.
At every corner, drivers had to guess when to start and stop, resulting in sheer mayhem right out of the old Wild West, minus the charm.
Even with traffic lights, you take your life in your hands with these people.
And then the bathroom stopped working.
The toilet wouldn’t flush.
Suddenly you were not only desperate, disconnected, and sobbing, you were trying to pour buckets of water into the bowl to make everything go down.
A pioneer plainsman I’m not.
So let’s pray for the power to stay on.
And if it does, then let’s go back to being atheists.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 29, 2012