Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dark, Quiet, and Cold

I think I woke up because of the quiet. Maybe it was the darkness. I can’t remember exactly. I knew, somehow, in my sleep that something was different. Coming into focus, my eyes stared at the VCR (yes, we still have a VCR). The current time in its familiar orange glow did not stare back. I rolled over and looked at the alarm clock. Blank. My cell phone was the nearest reliable clock. I picked it up and it’s small screen lit up the wall at the head of my bed like a flashlight. 3:22am.

“The power is out.” I had needlessly said. My wife had to work at 7 this morning. I asked her if her cell phone’s alarm clock was set. It was. I asked her if I should set mine too for her. Yes, 5:45am. Okay. I did. We rolled over and tried to fall back asleep, but every once in a while we would chime in about the power being out. She shared a story about she and her sisters trying to warm ham in a pan over a candle during a power outage in her childhood. That’s a very Bradley thing to do. The first concern: food. How are we going to eat?

We finally fell asleep. For a moment we woke up a little after 5 when the power switched on, humming in high and low keys for a few seconds and then off. Back to sleep and up at 5:45 when the cell phones went off. We got out of bed and lit candles in the bathroom and living area. I used a mini Maglite to light my way around the house. We first went downstairs to the garage to see if the door would open. It did. Very slowly it crept up onto the rails parallel to the ground. My wife was moving her car outside. She told me to lift to help the garage door up. It didn’t make a difference. It opened all the way and I got in the car and we drove to ground level and parked.

Back inside the apartment I lay on the bed and watched my wife move about the apartment by candlelight. Immortalized by the soft yellow glow of the light. I stared, changing my position every half-minute, alternating from eyes closed and head down to eyes open and head up watching to see if she was ready to leave.

I walked her out to her car. It is darker now in the morning, the night the clocks sprung forward, robbing us of an hour we won’t get back until the fall. We could see just fine. The sun hadn’t yet risen, but its glow lit up clouds thousands of feet above us which were now operating as mood lighting, an orange glow from the far-off sun and nearby city lights. But the buildings were dark. No exterior or interior lights on. The only sign of life or inhabitance being furniture on patios and different arrangements of the blinds. We arrived at her car. A kiss goodbye and I turned to walk back into the darkness.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I feel like I just watched a short film.

Jeff Woodard, from a previous life.