Monday, May 26, 2014

In the dark

Imagine having to use the restroom in complete darkness. I'm sure it's difficult for a perfectly fit person- they risk sliding off an hurting themselves. Now imagine that you can't walk. You need two points to lean on, switch hands while you sit down and you can't see anything. That was my Friday night. The whole neighborhood suffered from a power outage. One side of my apartment building adequately called Arlington Square for it's shape as the apartments are built around a grass courtyard, seemed unaffected. But that was at the far end. Three others and parts of downtown   disappeared in the darkness. This wasn't the first time a thing like this has happened. In fact, Gainesville forces me back to basics so to speak at least once if not twice a year. I usually call my friend Victor and we stroll across the area and if we find one open bar, and there's typically literally one single establishment hooked onto another grid- open we get a drink there. After a few hours the power is back on and we have a good feeling of having experienced something different. But my friend was out of town. And this wasn't like one of those occasions where you blow a fuse or the power was only gone on one floor or one building when you at least get enough light through the window from street lights and buildings to make out shapes in the room. It was pitch black inside. Only a car going down the street once and again had its highlights reflected on my living room wall. I needed to use the restroom yet I could barely find the door. I had no idea where my cell phone was and I needed some light to assist me. Then I realized that my cable box remote has a backlit keypad. When you press the button it gives you about ten seconds of light. As I grabbed my bathtub to stand against it (American tubs are pretty small, lower than the toilet) I kept pressing that button to kept it from turning off. It was a risky procedure, but I had no choice. I needed to mske my maneuvers while having a sense of where my hands went. Everything else was secondary. At first a thought crossed my mind that I've forgotten to pay my bill. But all you had to do is look outside my window to see that it wasn't just me. Then I wondered if the food in my freezer was going to be OK- but I knew that things like that usually don't last very long. Two hours later the power was back. But the restroom trip wasn't something I could put off  waiting for it to come back. I also realized that I live in a hurricane state yet I'm low on emergency supplies. I should have had a flashlight or some accessories that glow in the dark. But I managed. Trying to get my remote control to light up the area as I was getting myself  situated I felt a bit like MacGyver. And I was proud of my self for finding such elegant solution.

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