Yesterday the power went out.
My computer screen flicked off and immediately my heart began racing at 400million-trillion-miles per hour as I wondered if I’d lost the last hour’s worth of work. I always hit CTRL+S so obsessively that losing work is next to impossible, so often that I could probably get twice as much work done if I didn’t hit CTRL+S in between every second word I type, but all the same my immediate response was panic.
I assumed I’d blown a fuse. Literally, not figuratively.
This is a frequent occurrence in my little study which contains one power outlet and enough electronic devices to start my own electronics store. However, as soon as I stood up to check the power-box-thingo-holder-of-the-fuses, I realised this wasn’t the case.
The whole house was silent. Not the middle of the night silence that I love and crave, but the more deeply disturbing silence of powerlessness. The constant hum of 21st Century life had ceased and all I could hear was…. nothing. And then strange sounds drifted in from outside: tweet tweet, tweet tweet. It was nature. Utterly horrifying.
I stood momentarily motionless wondering how to proceed. Eventually I snapped back to reality and the desire to fix this most horrible of conditions.
I checked the power-box: nothing there.
I got on my phone and looked for information via the Twitter guru.
My phone died.
At this point I may have begun to hyperventilate and there may have been some rocking in the foetal position.
After realising that self pity was not the answer (it never is), I ran next door to find out whether the power problem was mine or whether it extended across the neighbourhood.
It was this, the seeking of information via real life human contact, that was the most definite sign of my desperation.
My neighbour, understandably, did not know who I was and looked at me with an expression that clearly said, “Don’t let her into your house.”
According to this kind stranger/my neighbour, the power was out across the whole neighbourhood, so I took the only rational course of action: I got in my car and headed over the river.