Signals From the Sky and Brain Damage

For the record, I will contine to double-space after every period.

So, on the way home from the Cube today, I curiously heard a loud ‘BxxztBxxzt!’ going on above my head and,of course, looked up. There was a tree branch catching fire due to a stripped power line (I say that like it means anything- I know nothing about power lines). Enormous sparks forked out every time the wind beat the thing against already-dried-out branches. You know, like the sparks in Lightning balls that follow your fingers around. The Wikipedia description of ‘Lightning Balls’ actually uses the word ‘capacitor’ and that’s where I get off the science train. You can look it up. Anyway, I took a few shots of the thing and one short video (which is terrible) before thinking to inform the owners of the lawn upon which this hazard was hazarding.

The following exchange occurred: Doorbell.

“Hello,” said the man of the house. He seemed to be dressed like a banana, with his black hair and torso – encompassing yellow shirt. Torso? Or is it ‘core’ these days?

“Hello. Your tree is on fire.”

“Oh.” Here he sighed, “That’s annoying.”

Interesting reaction, I thought. I took pictures of him storming off to get closer to a fire that had now burned a limb from the tree. When I got home, the power was out. I know, that seems like something that would occur to me sooner. This then forced me to do other things– like writing this prattle, for example. I work offline in ink. I wondered if I should first do something about the things in the fridge: Freeze the milk! Honestly, two awkwardly childish thoughts in a row. Once I remembered (instantly, though not soon enough) that the freezer was attached to the refrigeration unit AND required power, I decided to call Nicole for advice.

“Don’t open the door!”

I took a shower to recover from nearly being zapped by the electrifying tree, and the heat- wave – from – Hades we’ve been enjoying these past few days. This invariably led to the thought of running water, how we take it for granted, how our creature comforts sometimes control us, or what I will do on my upcoming camping trip without faucets (I can’t imagine myself camping well, can you?). After which I started to get angry about having to pay for the right to water anyway. Madison, my most comical sister, recently remarked, “I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m 70% water!” I nearly rapped the table and said “Here here!” But this is not a ridiculous story.

Speaking of free, released from electronic distraction bondage, my fellow slaves and I crept from our houses and started conversations with the same suspicious grunt a caveman might use when testing the air for fear or malice. The power outage of.. aught aught? that swept New York and Toronto and radiating towns will have us remembering that same confused sense of camaraderie and community that almost immediately suffused us all. Once the power returned, we all dashed back into our houses to check the butter, the eggs, and for any transmissions sent into the ether by those who still resided in civilization. Thrust into more than one hour of darkness, and into the sorta – fresh air, we felt nostalgic for something most of us had never experienced: real silence. My silence is usually foodtv and the clack of my keys, the rush of the traffic around me when I choose to walk my distances, or the strangely warm whirring of conversation bits swirling around my head. None of those things are quiet at all. But when things shut down and focus returns, we can start to hear each other instead.

Long ramble short, always look up: you never know when a burning tree could be trying to tell you something.

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