Monday, July 26, 2010

Good morning darling. I have been having a bad morning, anxiety-ridden, yesterday evening too. I'm writing as a way to soothe myself, and to get a hug from you which I know will make me feel better right away. So I posted yesterday evening. I was feeling tired, read it over in published mode and thought, gawd that's weird even for me, so I sat up straight and decided to edit it a bit and was rolling along nicely when for a split second the power went out and came back on again. The computer blinked off and I lost all my edits. I was annoyed but philosophical. Storms had moved through here already but must have struck something crucial elsewhere. The part I had a hard time being philosophical and patient about, though, was that it takes a solid half hour for my computer to become functional again, between dialup and logging into this and signing into that and waiting for Firefox to load updates and closing annoying prompts ... you get the idea. Takes forever. And now this post that I had second thoughts about was only getting older and I was growing anxious that you'd see it before I could tweak it to my satisfaction. I became increasingly frustrated with the feeling of not being in control of a small yet crucial thing. Not every post will be a gem, of course, but I make an effort. The computer came online again, I saw that I hadn't edited in time, I felt absurdly upset, then D came upstairs, and he and I had a big fight.

[Oh good, already my morning's starting to go better, David Gray's on now - I find him entirely soothing. Not even a song I know, Only the Lonely - but oh his voice.)

Today is the most spectacular day, sunny and dry. I slept deeply and well, though at the same time with fitful dreams, and I woke with an unbidden, involuntary anxiety attack thinking about the unfinished business of the unsatisfying post. I hate it when a day starts off with anxiety. It doesn't happen often but here it was. I thought, okay, I'll tweak the post now, later I'll write another one, we'll move on, and that'll be that. I'm drinking coffee, in the midst of edits, and literally out of the clear blue the power goes out again, this time for a couple of hours.

So I went for a walk, trying to shake the feeling of being out of sorts. But sometimes tiny incidents end up carrying a lot of freight.

On Saturday I drove past the sprawling strip malls here and saw what appeared to be a minor fender bender. I kid you not, in this crazy place, well over a dozen emergency vehicles showed up - ambulances, firetrucks, paramedics, sheriff, police - lining up at the local-taxpayer-funded trough to respond to what I am quite sure was either (a) nothing, (b) next to nothing, or (c) a situation that could have been handled by many fewer First Responders.

Today's power outage, that knocked out Hudson (as D learned over the phone) and several towns besides? Not a word about it, say, on the radio. I stopped by the town hall and one of the town's finest was there - very friendly but he had no idea the power was out (maybe he'd just commuted in from elsewhere). I drove home and spotted a neighbor walking along - her husband's a first responder type, so very many around here. She was on the cell with him - he'd heard that a squirrel got in a transformer. Right, blame nature. Poor squirrel - except that I find it hard to believe that story. I'm guessing it's related to the brief outage yesterday evening.

So dearest, I'm going to leave last night's post alone, goodness knows I don't want to trigger another power outage. Let me get on with my day and hopefully shake this strange mood. I hope you don't mind too much that I poured out my silly troubles to you. And they are silly, right on the face of it, I do see that.

Maybe it's that I really hate power outages. They truly make me feel that things are out of my control, which mostly they seem to be. You're just sitting there and - pffft. I got caught in that major one several years back, where the grid in the eastern half of the country went out. That was a nightmare for me. It was a summer late afternoon, I was at work in the Bronx, and we were all told to leave for the day. Only how was I supposed to get home to Brooklyn? A colleague lived in Riverdale, and another woman and I accompanied him on foot and then bus and wound up at his place. Well, he was safe now - but Ariel and I were on our own. Somehow we managed to get to the Upper West Side - buses, very crowded ones - and now it was getting dark. Ariel lived on the UWS, she was fine. Now I was on my own. I had maybe $20 on me, and a gypsy cab very kindly took me down the West Side Highway to lower Manhattan. He dropped me off around Chambers Street, but didn't want to go further. I made my way in pitch dark - fearful of rats, prowlers, etc. - and managed to reach the agency office building, where I found other stranded staffers. I was safe there at least, spent the night in the lobby, and at daybreak walked home over the bridge. It was quite an ordeal, not just the feeling at times of danger and peril and being very far from home, but the sheer uncertainty too - why was the power out?

And yet I was fine, I lived to tell the tale, nothing really bad had actually happened to me. I'm just no good with anxiety or overly stressful events. With this morning's power outage - well, what was going on? It's perfect out - surreal. If you told me that it was because a UFO had landed I could believe it since there's no heat wave or storm.

Let me check the weather conditions where you are... 50 and overcast.

I am going to shower now, wash my hair, rinse off the bug spray from my walk, put on a clean outfit, restart my day, go to the supermarket and farmstands as was my original plan, and give you a big hug and many kisses, my darling - just thinking of you makes me smile and feel better.

Have a wonderful day, dearest. I hope all is well with you - and your generator.

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