Electricity Junkie

bulb close up electricity energy
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I woke up this morning to an ice cold apartment. The power was off! And, I was officially a part of the storm of the century that has taken over the awareness of the east coast in the past 36 hours. No power = no heat and ultimately, no fun. No lap top, no mp3 player, no stereo, no television. All I could do was read. So, I picked up a book and tried to entertain myself. Or should I say distract myself from the fact that there were limitations placed on what I could do verses what I wanted to do, and when I wanted to do it.

I didn’t realize how much I depended on electricity to escape constant boredom. In fact, I often criticized my children for not being able to entertain themselves during brief power outages in the past. “Read a book”, I would tell them.

Even as early as yesterday, after watching the local and regional news, I ridiculed the masses for behaving in what I thought was a ridiculous, panic stricken madness by mobbing grocery, and liquor stores; leaving shelves empty of basic food items that “I” thought should have already been stocked in a home.

Karma isn’t as complex as some would like it to seem…and I just had a dose of it disguised as a “reality check”. Hello, my name is The1Essence, and I am an electricity junkie.

My book reading lasted all of 30 minutes before hunger pains reminded me to eat. I had planned a nice warm breakfast of French toast this morning but, even though I have a gas stove and could bypass the electric pilot light with a simple match, the kitchen was dark.

With no windows in the kitchen to provide natural light, I was forced to light candles to see what I was doing. That didn’t last long. I abandoned the French toast idea out of sure frustration. Not because I couldn’t complete my task but, because I didn’t want to without any light from the overhead fixture. Panic began to set in as I wondered if the power company knew the electricity was out in this area.

snowy pathway surrounded by bare tree
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I looked out of the window, scanning the apartment complex to see if it was just my power that was out (paranoia is one symptom of addiction). I was relieved when I saw that others had opened blinds and curtains to let some natural light in. But, I called the Dominion Power anyway. I had to know the “estimated” time of power restoration. The hotline said power should be restored in my area by 5pm; it was now 8:45am. What in the world I do until then? And, what “if” the power was not back on by then? And most importantly, the three pints of Ben & Jerry’s (pistachio and two pints of Berried Treasure) would definitely be reduced to a soupy mess by then! Panic was taking over…I need my “fix” of electricity and I had made up my mind! I was going to find a hotel.

To do that I had to shovel my truck from under 20 inches of snow. I bundled up in my Packer coat, baseball cap and grabbed the shovel, being mindful to remember my cell phone so I could charge it in the car while I cleaned it.

The snow was wet and heavy, unlike the snow from a few weeks ago that was light and fluffy. I had a time moving it! I’m not exactly a “little” woman but, I am not the most athletic. Plus, underneath 19 inch of snow was an inch of ice. So, I had to remove the snow in layers then chop the ice underneath to clear a path around and behind the truck. Then it was time to clear the snow off of the truck! An hour and a half later I was an exhausted, overheated, sweaty mess! But, armed with a fully charged cell phone I was still completed motivated to find a hotel. Inside, the power was still off. But, I couldn’t just pack and run out of the house. My clothes were soaked from sweat so, I had to shower first.

I showered until the hot water ran out then jumped in a pair of sweats and my Wisconsin hooded sweat shirt, threw a few personal items in an overnight bag, packed my lap top and mp3 player, their respective chargers and a few DVDs and prepared to put my four wheel drive to use when the phone rang. It was the “Best Cousin in the World”, Lisa.

Lisa’s mom had a couple of questions for me regarding tax preparation. I informed Lisa of my circumstance and took a tongue lashing from her mom who felt the weather in Virginia was just as bad as in Wisconsin so I might as well just pack up and move back where if “something” happened I would have family near.

“I can’t”, I quipped, “the airports are closed as well as the highways”!

Before she could render me speechless for being a smart ass, the power popped on! All I did for the next five minutes was scream “Thank you Jesus”! Oh, and I accidentally hung up on Lisa.

Next, I ran to the fridge to check on my Ben & Jerry’s. It was fine! I grabbed a spoon and devoured the entire pint of pistachio! I even had the nerve to wrap myself in a blanket while eating it, with the heat blasting in the background, and I settled myself down to enjoy an afternoon of vampire movies! Geeezzzeee, the things we take for granted!

I watched Twilight and the first Underworld movie when I decided that it was time for that French toast. I had just dropped the toast into the skillet when as fate would have it the lights flickered and the power went out again! Luckily for me the stove is gas powered! I scrambled around for candles and saved the toast. Since it was still light outside, I grabbed the book I tried to read earlier and settled my nerves by thinking it wouldn’t be long until the power came back on. Five hours later it was still off and I was going through withdrawals! My cell battery was low, my lap top was battery was dead and I was starting to shiver! I pulled together some blankets and bedded down on the couch preparing for a restless sleep.

Just as I drifted off I heard the furnace click on and then fire up! After six long hours without electricity I was once again with power! Now, I’m turning everything off (except the heat) and going to bed. It’s been a long day for this self proclaimed “electricity junkie”!

orange cat sleeping on white bed
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Yesterday was my first day with nothing to do.

I thought I would write. But, I didn’t. I just knew all the words I have been holding in would gush out through my fingers. But, they didn’t.

I sat around the house, made a few phone calls, sent a few text, made a few Facebook posts. Nothing of substance beyond a much needed well deserved vegetative trance.

Then, a song popped into my head. I stopped breathing for just a moment. The rush of feelings accompanied by an overwhelming urge to breathe overcame me. I didn’t breathe. I didn’t exhale. I wanted to hold all those memories in and not share with anyone. I wanted to bathe in them with hopes they would send me back to those memories. Back to those good and bad times. Back to when life still smelled like fresh cut grass and sweet clover. Back to when the headlights of my mother’s car made the snow look like an endless a field of diamonds. I held my breath to hold in the sweetness. To hold in the love.

The song and the woman’s voice transfixed me. The sound of an angel bypassing my ears and speaking to my heart. I stared out the window, pinning myself to the window frame so no air could escape past me into the wind making my love disappear back to the past, never to be smelled, never to be felt again.

I needed to hear the song coming through the speakers on my laptop. So, I allowed myself to take and release sips of air while I searched. My mind was in overdrive trying to hold on to the memories and find the song.  I found it on youtube. I took a few more sips of air and let a few more out.

I found a video taped performance not just the song with the words scrolling up the screen, to bore me, clicked the play button and inhaled like I was smoking a freshly lit Newport.

I glanced at the performers hair and clothing. Their attire adding to the aroma. I filled my lungs with the 70’s closed my eyes and exhaled a field of sweet clover.

Summertime in the 70’s as a child flowed out my nostrils. Long car rides  at night with my mom. Pringles with my cousin on the porch of my Grandmother’s 7th and Greenbay Ave., home in Milwaukee, I-43 not more than 50 feet away, humming with happy adults coming and going. Living……

I was a child again, still innocent. Bouncing to Antioch Missionary Baptist Church on 20th and Atkinson to fellowship with my entire family. Back to when my biggest worry was if Grandmother would buy me a cheeseburger and fries from McDonalds. Yeast from the bread factory filled the air around the Hillside Projects where my Great Grandmother lived. Grass was green without sod and people loved each other. The song proved this. Nothing so perfect could come from a negative era in history.


I exhaled then inhaled a songbird. I was engulfed with a simpler way of life. I was so innocent. I didn’t know anything about racism. In my world Christian’s didn’t hate. Jim Jones was pure evil still, people eventually found a way to forgive him.  Terror was my Mom picking me up from Grandmother’s house before I could inhale more fun. This melody, now playing in my head, heart and mind filled me with love and once again I was innocent. And Alive….And happy.

The song was coming to an end. I wanted to hit repeat but I didn’t. I inhaled deeply once more then let the memories flow into the cool breeze, with complete understanding that all I had to do was push play again and I could go back….

I exhaled “Close To You”, by The Carpenters then sat down and wrote a blog about music….