Thursday, July 5, 2012

Power Junkie

I think I'm addicted to electricity. Now I have to add that to my list of vices and I didn't even realize a person could have such an addiction. But here I sit, sweating in my summerweight pajamas, drinking a luke warm Diet Coke and wishing I could watch tv or get on Facebook. When I left work last night at 10:20pm, it was still a sweltering 100 degrees outside and the air was heavy with humidity. Even at the late hour, it felt difficult to breath and I hit the “MAX” button for the A/C in my car. For the first 5 miles or so, it was a normal drive, like any other summer night. As I approached the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the wind picked up. And when I say “the wind picked up”, I mean, the wind picked up my car and moved it to another lane on the highway! Crossing the bridge, debris was flying and dirt was hitting the car like a full blown sandstorm. I don't know how so much debris could accumulate on a bridge – a bridge that sits very high off the water – and I honestly never thought of the banks of the Potomac River as particularly sandy, but that was the occurrence last night. By the time I crossed the bridge and veered off onto my exit, the rain had started and my vision was almost completely impaired by torrential currents, dirt and debris pelting me like I had done something naughty earlier in the day and had been caught! Another mile or two and the lights went out and the trees began falling onto the highway. I love living in such a beautifully wooded area until the woods start throwing themselves onto the pavement, then my feelings change somewhat. Trees were hitting the highway, cars were hitting the trees, rain and airborn trash was hitting the cars, and I was hitting my brakes. It took a long time to get home at this pace. The only lights on the road were the blaring lights on police cars and the hazard lights of vehicles that had become victims of falling trees. I plucked my way home feeling sad for my new car and more than a little worried that a tree was going to fall on my head. And anxious to get home to the dogs who are afraid of storms. (Well, the ringleader, Wednesday, is afraid of storms, so Puzzle and Prozac suffer fear by proxy.) I had to reroute myself in my neighborhood due to a large tree that had fallen completely over the street. In the darkness, I could see more than one vehicle looking quite smashed by the falling timber. But I finally made it to my little street. Usually, when our whole neighborhood loses power. We do not. I have no idea why we are spared, but I have followed the glow of my television home like the North Star on more than one occasion. But not last night. Last night, my house was just as dark and abandoned-looking as the rest of the neighborhood. I was a little sad about that, but happy to be home. I entered the house to find three very wet and smelly dogs. Why do they like to play outside in an ever-loving monsoon?! What is wrong with them? I thought Boder Collies were smart? They must all be mixed with Dummies. “What kind of dogs do you have?” “Oh, they're Border Collie/Dummy mixes.” Bordummies. Dodo Collies. But I digress ….. The only flashlight I could find in the disorienting dark was a small light on an elastic strap that fits around one's head. I fumbled with it and got a red light to glow. Ha! I picked my way upstairs using infrared headgear! By the time I changed clothes and made it into bed, I figured out how to get the light to glow regular white light and used that to read until the elastic squeezed my brain and I went to sleep. I was disheartened to find we were still out of power this morning. My weekends off are rare and I had plans for today. Plans that would include blow drying my hair, perhaps even using a curling iron a bit. Plans that would include ironing my clothes. I am a vain person, after all. Even after all that I put into my appearance, I still walk away feeling ugly, so imagine how I feel when I can't make any improvements whatsoever! It's going to be well over 100 degrees again today. I grew up poor and never had air conditioning, but we did have electricity and a well-placed fan or two. I would like a fan blowing on me right about now. Yes, I would.

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