Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Speaking of losing power,* it happened last night while I waited for dinner. Sunshine was doing something with a contingent of Fulbright Scholars; I was dining alone. I didn't have the cash for sushi-bar hopping, so I headed to my favorite soup joint down the street. I was between ordering and receiving soup when the whole block snapped off with an audible click. My favorite power-out story happened in Wilmington, NC, amid my first Hurricane Emily, a blustery two-star quickie more wind than water once inland. We were tempting fate at the top of a very famous consignment shop: up several oddly steep and cunningly misaligned flights into a windowless clutch of discombobulated attic rooms stuffed to the bat nests with curious oddments. Then, pop, we were stranded in utter blackout. Piles of displayed dishware, clothing and furniture sunk with us into level subterranean darkness so complete it sucked the sound of Emily away with it. How well had I memorized the floor plan? Where were all those depression glass figurines, again? If I broke it, I'd read, I'd have to buy it. What if I broke my arms and legs on the crooked stairways? The darkness never lessens underground; eyes cannot ever adjust to an absence of light. Breaking the mood, an adjacent hurricane surfer deadpanned calmly: "Marco?" Across the room came the answer, with a nervous giggle. Then the lights came back and we all got the hell out of there. Last night was nothing like this. There was no real darkness, no silence. Traffic kept the sidewalk caf├ęs lit. Apparently, my food was being cooked over real fire because it came to the table minutes after the waiter melted a red candle onto the bottom of my waiting rice bowl so I could continue reading. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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