Seeing the light

I won't claim to be addicted to electicity, but I will admit to finding it terribly convenient. It was something of a disappointment, then, to find myself at 6.30 last night suddenly in the quiet and dark of a blackout. My holiday party, scheduled to start around 8, seemed more and more doomed as 7 arrived, then 7.30, with no sign of electrical relief.

But thanks to the score of candles I'd gathered earlier (intending to use them even under normal functioning on PG&E's part) and my gas stove and the fact that I was anal enough to do a lot of advance prep, it still seemed feasible to have a party. So I did.

And although it seemed for a while that Monique and I would have a lot of food and alcohol to consume by ourselves, people did trickle in. Then they flowed in, and the house was warm without a heater, and the candles gave us all the light we really needed, and we ate and drank and missed only the lights on my little Christmas tree and, until conversation would've drowned it out anyway, some music. Everything else seemed just as it should be.

About half an hour ago, the power snapped back on, as abrubtly as it had gone off last night, and I'm glad: I can do laundry, and homework, and can stop worrying about setting myself on fire while trying to read the paper by candlelight.

But despite the initial frustration it caused, I'm almost happy the city was powerless last night. Sometimes it's helpful--and, dare I say, enlightening--to sit with your friends, some candles, and some mulled wine, and, for a while, just let go. What else can you do?