So here’s what happened last night, from around 1:15 until 4:20 a.m.
A major thunderstorm woke up both of us out of what seemed to be a heavy sleep. For me to wake in the middle of the night is not unusual, for I have been blessed with the Treadway Insomnia. Chuck, on the other hand, could sleep through circus clowns doing cartwheels down the hallway at midnight. But that’s another blog entry.
There we were, at 1:15 a.m., remarking to one another about how loud the thunder and lightning was. Then – poof – out goes the electricity.
Naturally, Chuck goes back to sleep while I mull over all of the possibilities of the next day. How does one pack lunches with spoiled food from a warm refrigerator? How would one get her car out of the garage if the automatic opener won’t work? How could one hope for a frizz-free hair day without the use of a hair dryer? I toss and turn for the next hour. My impatience and worry grow from lack of electricity to having not received the immunization affidavits from the State yet to nationalized health care to trying to remember what time my interview is today with the manager of the oldest cemetery in town…
Chuck re-wakes around 2 a.m. and I burden him with my thoughts. At this point I can’t decide if he’s truly worried about our lack of electricity or if he’s excusing himself from the bed and, subsequently, my ramblings, but at any rate, he goes to the living room to call the electric company. He returns to bed saying the automated lady on the other end of the line is fully aware of our outage and will have it repaired by 2:42 a.m.
At 2:38, the automated lady calls Chuck’s phone to say the power won’t be restored until 6:34 a.m. This is when I full-on panic. What if Miss Automatic has no clue what she’s talking about and calls back at 6:15 to say it won’t be back on until tomorrow? The secondary reason for my panic was that Chuck was leaving for a trip, and I’m not a girl who can work a generator.
Because neither of us can sleep, he gets up to secure the house. We decide to pull down coolers and pack meat and dairy on ice for as long as we can (survival mode apparently comes with panic). Chuck rigs the generator to the garage door opener so he could pull both vehicles out. (I supervised.) We discuss options for getting out of the house and securing it without electricity, and I wonder how long I could manage my life without electricity. At one point I wandered back to bed, but without the white noise of my humidifier I couldn’t fall asleep. I tossed and turned, mulling over all of my worries and welcoming back that right eyebrow twitch that went away for half a day. I get back up and walk to the garage and scare Chuck half to death with my silent onlooking.
“Geez, you scared me,” he said, putting the generator back in the garage. “I’m gonna go get ice. You want my flashlight?”
Feeling confident, I say, “Nope. My ninja skills help me see in the dark.”
“Okay then. Lock the door behind me. I’ll be right back.” He leaves through the back gate, I lock the side garage door, and walk back into the kitchen. On my way back to the bedroom in total darkness, at 3:14 a.m., I catch the corner of his suitcase – which is lying on the kitchen floor – and fall flat on my face.
Scratch that – I fell flat on my left knee, the same knee that I iced four times Sunday afternoon post-run.
I resist the urge to scream so I don’t wake the boys, but it occurs to me that if the thunder and generator didn’t wake them, my whimpers wouldn’t. So I screamed. And cried. And sent an angry text message with profanity.
“I JUST TRIPPED AND FELL OVER YOUR &#*@^ SUITCASE!!!”
He writes back, “Who’s the ninja now?” which completely cracks me up, even though my knee cap is swelling like a marble.
“A ninja, I am not.” I reply.
He had to traipse all over the city for two bags of ice at 3:30 in the morning, and I just WENT FOR IT and opened the freezer so I could get an ice pack for my knee. I positioned myself on the couch with my leg iced and elevated, wondering if this was a sign that I should drop out of the race. Twenty minutes later, Chuck walks in with the ice and two little jugs of milk, because in an emergency, you can never have enough milk.
He inquires about my knee and I lecture him about suitcase placement, and no sooner does the man put the ice in the coolers and lights a candle so we can see each other’s face in the dark living room, that – poof – the electricity comes on.
“You’ve got to be shitting me,” he says.
I burst into side-stitching laughter. It’s 4:10 a.m. We have ice in a cooler, I have a swollen knee, and Chuck’s alarm clock will be going off in an hour. In a situation like this, all you can do it laugh.
“Alright, Ninja,” he scolds me. “I can’t believe this…” and he, too, bursts into laughter.
I went to bed within minutes, once I made sure my computer and laptop worked. (The router is questionable.) I don’t know what happened to Chuck because my humidifier quickly sung me to sleep. I imagine he left on time and in one piece, as I don’t see his suitcase in the middle of the floor anymore.
Trust me, I looked.