Battery

Woke this morning as usual at 5 o’clock, and as usual stumbled to the loo to to pee.  What was unusual was the silence, but I didn’t realize until a few light switches and a faucet that hissed like a snake what it was – the electricity was out.  The house, usually alive with machinery, was as a mausoleum.  I worked on my book by battery on the computer until it ran out, and then ran in the early morning mist.

Mid-October, the height of the leaves this year, and it is still balmy, balmy enough for fog.  Around my three-mile run, the houses are all dark, but the sun awakens, blasting the fog up in slow motion, setting the leaves alight – the sun is Agent Orange, the leaves are napalm, the world is at silent war.

No, it’s peace.  Coming back home, we discover from clocks that it’s been off since 12:30, and the freezer is starting to melt.  Fuss with the rigamarole of wires and switches, and the generator chugs into life.  The house breathes again, and all our conveniences are there, but only at the cost of burning gas, disappearing dinosaurs, and carbon footprints slouching toward Bethlehem.

The New York bodyworkers didn’t like it when I warned last weekend of the coming economic storm.  It was sobering in the middle of an otherwise elatory weekend.  We therapists float on the froth of the affluent society – the whole cappuccino will be off the counter when the foecal matter connects with the atmospheric conditioning device.  We’ll be bartering for sessions, as the economic sieve shakes us all down.  Food and energy will cost most of our salary.  The strong will survive?  No, not the strong, but the most adaptable.   How adaptable has our profession made us?

Even the boat needs the shore – the batteries have run down while I was in NY, and the bilge pump can’t run.  I’ve been keeping the boat pumped out by hand, but I have the battery on shore on the battery charger, and after the lights have been back on for an hour or two, I take the battery back out and start the boat, the possession I prize for not using fossil fuel – it has an engine, but I use it little, is in fact connected inevitably to the system grid. We’re all co-dependent.

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