There is something ragingly primeval and animalistic about darkness.
Take my word for it. You try spending over 24 hours without electricity in the middle of hot, orange and smoky Los Angeles. You do that and tell me the urge to tear a weaker fellow human limb by limb and then consume him/her in a bloody, messy feast that leaves with with an ear cartlidge dangling from your canines does not torment you.
Courtesy of someone’s fuck-up or just good old fashioned Bad Luck, I’ve spent 2 nights at the Pitch Darkness Inn of East Los Angeles. This is one lodge they can’t say “we’ll leave the light on” because there is no juice for that. Better would be “we’ll leave the candles lit” or “we’ll leave fresh batteries in the flashlight.”
You know it’s this weird misplaced anger that really gets me. It’s the kind of anger that just eats you up and you have nowhere to channel it. You just want to swear very, very loudly and call anyone and everyone a fucking dumbshit moron. Unfortunately, there is no specific person you can direct that to. It’s not like a George W. Bush presidency where the idiotic focal point of your frustration can be arrowed.
Why did I happen to have to live in a strangely and asymmetrical sliver of territory that stretches from East L.A. into neighboring Montebello that has been in complete darkness since 5 p.m. on Monday evening?
Depends on which story you buy. Depends on which story you find more gutturally satisfying. There are several incarnations, evolutions, of this story. Several story-tellers around this big happy fucking campfire.
Amazing that a certain lack of modern amenities (such as electricity) leaves me full of acidic ire and uttering a constant stream of cursing. It’s scary.
Story #1, my mother, via Southern California Edison’s outage “assistance” line: the power is out because of an equipment failure. Uh. I realize my mother was only the messenger, but honestly…no kidding. Who is the wise electro-sage at Edison who came up with that knee-jerk explanation? Equipment failure? No shit. I would have thought anything but that!
Story #2, first-hand upon my phone call to the same Edison “helpline”: Due to a fire, a substation servicing thousands of people was seriously damaged and due to the severity, repair will be delayed. As in not until 8 a.m. on Tuesday. I’m assuming they are referring to the brush fires surrounding North L.A.?
Story #3, once again, firsthand from Edison shortly after 8 a.m., the first estimate, has come and gone: due to maintenance, power has temporarily been shut down to allow crews a chance to modernize aging infrastructure. Getting very thick now.
Story #4, via my elderly neighbor who was sitting outside in the murky hot morning air for whatever reason as I left to drive to work: a construction crew on the Gold Line extension into East L.A. damaged a power line causing a massive fire and dangerous unrest, or at the very least, lots of spoiled food. Won’t be up and running until “tomorrow.” Is this the fire SCE was referring to???
Story #5, basically a reiteration of story #2, except the expected or estimated time to repair now is 1 a.
Story #6, #5, but now it’s 3 a.m. OK I really need that weaker person who I can de-limb cause I’m feeling a tad aggressive. Another night of faint darkness. Hmm isn’t that just like a normal night of sleep? Much of this anger and frustration is childish, I realize. There are people who have lost houses in the fires. At least I have a roof.
Story #7, early this morning: We have nothing to report, please check back for updates. Uh oh. Sounds like good news or bad news? Irritation sets in, cuss like a sailor at my parent’s house where I sneak off to eat a quick breakfast
7:10, power back the minute I finish my weights. My tenuous hold on reality returns and I can re-enter the realm of bloggery once more.