The sweet sound of silence. There is no wind throbbing and shrieking outside our windows, no thuds or booms of things falling. No sirens cut the air. There is also no clamor from the generator that powers our building’s locks, garage doors and common areas. It’s the sound of safety, of security.
Our power went out Monday at 9pm. A few earlier flickerings sent me to charge up the phone and computers; after all, the storm was only just beginning. I also checked that the flashlights were where they were supposed to be, just in case. Turns out, it’s good to be prepared.
Power came on again last night at 6pm, to mass acclaim and hugs all around from the building’s stalwart residents, most of whom had hunkered down in the party room with bottles of wine. Not that we had it all bad. There was no heat, that is true. But the building, stout masonry that it is, holds heat in. Leaving our apartment door open to the hallway let the heat trickle through our apartment (we faced windward, so cold leached in our windows–brr!). And the water heater in the basement kept hot water going the whole time. There isn’t much a hot shower can’t make better each morning.
Additionally, our Party Room (a former restaurant on the ground floor) is wired into the generator, so there people charged cellphones and laptops, had (usually dim but now remarkably, wonderfully bright) electrical lighting. I carried down a crockpot each morning full of things from our fridge and freezer, so by dinner there was hot stew by candlelight–so romantic.
The 2 gallon fish tank I moved into the hallway, where it was much warmer than our apartment. The fish (Sheldon and Quatre Cinq) came out just fine. Sheldon was pleased though when his filter started running again. For some reason this betta is convinced the running water is his friend.
While around us, bad things were happening, inside it was convivial. Those who remained after the first night checked on one another. Maintenance staff came in for short hours each day, and they left the office (which had heat!) open for us to warm up in. Miraculously, no one died in the area. Boats and docks cut free from the shore, washed downriver and disappeared under the incredible waves where lake and river met. Trees fell, power lines came down, power poles came down and emergency crews worked non-stop. I was “discomforted.” I can live with that.
I’m leaving for World Fantasy Con today, and it’s nice to know that my hubby will be safe and warm while I’m gone, not cold and starving in the dark as he throws out spoiled food.