Friday, May 24, 2013

The Black out

It happened last Thursday. I was going ready to go out and then all of the sudden the lights went out. I didn't even bother calling the utility company, from the looks of it all of downtown Gainesville fell into darkness. I think that was the third time I was without power this year, yet the other instances didn't seem as severe. Usually you could see lights on the other side of the street, or somehow one part of my complex remained unaffected. This time, everything was pitch black. Total darkness. From time to time I would see people with flashlight going pass my window. I'd hear whispers and laughter.  For a minute I pondered the implications. The milk that felt like it was going to go bad soon was probably now a throwaway. Then I thought that if this went on I really had no way to boil water in. I don't really know why I was concerned with boiling water, but it did come to my head. Thee only kettle I had was electric. Then I realized that it would have not mattered anyway. I don't have a gas stove, everything is electric. I then thought about how much we rely on electricity without a second thought. My microwave and my coffee maker, and my toaster oven- the devices I use every day, now useless. What I didn't think about was that I had no crisis supplies- no candles or flashlights of my own. My laptop would die after two hours of battery use, I thought I'd conserve that and my Blackberry would shut down eventually as well. What would I do to entertain myself if this continued? One thing I wasn't was scared. I didn't mind the darkness really, my eyes got used to it quickly and when I stepped outside the world felt bizarre. My upstairs neighbors seemed to be having a blast on their beach chairs sipping wine. I thought about sleeping through it, but I was in fact hungry. I called my friend Victor to come and grab me so we can explore this quasi post apocalyptic world together. By the time he got here and I locked my apartment the lights went on. But that wasn't the end of it. The businesses all throughout the area were still affected- some shut down, some still without power. One thing it managed to do is upset are weekly routine. Thursdays are spent at  the Top. All the city's movers and shakers go there for cheap drinks and great company. And yes, I complain about their handicapped bathroom quite a bit, but the food is good and the place is quite a fixture on Gainesville's map. And yes, once a week I don't mind grabbing a two dollar rum and coke. I write about routines a lot- how I have been subjected to them through years of rehabilitation as a child, how I rebel against  them and yet- they give me comfort. My going out habits are also repetitious.  By the time we got to The Top it turned out they didn't have the power inside. At first they proposed to let people inside to get drinks at the bar, cash only, but then someone realized they couldn't even do that. As much as I'm the one always telling my friends: we need to try to find new things, even for me something didn't feel right. We had to find a different venue. And I was still hungry. My friend decided he wanted a burger, just not from a burger place across the street. We decided to go to Boca Fiesta- a faux Mexican restaurant particularly popular with hipsters. I have to say, I've been wanting to have scallops at Top for days, but what can you do? My friend grabbed a mojito, I had a Margarita. I keep reminding myself that adventures are good to have- even culinary ones. Nice company, music, new people, I always tell myself I should do it more often. Perhaps declare Thursday the "anything can happen" day of the week. I ended up having a blast, although I felt justified not to blog that Friday. The Blackout made one interesting evening- although it didn't go quite as I planned. When I bumped into my friend David the next day he told me how much fun his blackout evening was. "I wish it lasted longer"- he said, and I can't say I didn't understand where he was coming from.

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