Sunday, January 10, 2016

Vacation Day 1: Orange is dead ...


The power went out 35 minutes into my elliptical workout. I can't even remember what was happening on "The Good Wife," it was all so traumatic. Suddenly dark. The furnace quieted mid-gust. The equipment no longer erasing calories. I used my phone's light to walk upstairs, where I found Chuck lightly asleep in bed.

"The power went out," I said, when he moved.

The wind was loud. The cold already sneaking in the windows. I watched the house across the street, dark save for a beam from a flashlight bouncing around an upstairs bedroom. No streetlights, no cars. Freaking freaky stuff. Freakiest of all: My phone's battery at 43 percent.

"I'm at 10," Chuck said and I got a case of the dreads. Nothing stresses me out more than a low phone battery.

The head lamp was burned out, but I found a flashlight on the floor behind the toilet. Chuck found a lantern and a portable light. I cowered under the covers reading Patricia Highsmith getting colder and colder and colder. The story is just getting juicy. The power company's website estimated we would have electricity by 1:14 a.m.

I purposefully did not do the math on how long it would take before our pipes would freeze.

Then the carbon monoxide detector started going off. A single beep every few seconds. We both Googled hard. It seemed pretty obvious that it had something to do with the lack of power, but it also seemed silly to never again regain consciousness just because we understand Ocaam's Razor. So then a whole firetruck pulled up in front of the house and three firefighters gave us a PSA on CO detectors, checked our levels, complimented our cat and left.

We ate a bunch of hummus and agreed that we didn't feel dumb about calling at all.

***

A man and a woman were at the grocery store together. Every time he picked up an item, he smiled at it. It was like the apples were talking to him.

***

Chach had a screaming fit because I wouldn't carry her here and there and when I finally got around to picking her up, she put her head on my shoulder and fell asleep. Rare. No nightly bedtime battle. I didn't miss it a lick.

***

Chuck made us ramen for dinner. Favorite foods include: miso, chili oil.

***

The Rock Star Amy Abts alerted me to an interesting obituary and I spent the next two hours reading, Googling and texting. So vague!

***

We watched about 90 episodes of "The Great British Baking Show," which is such a pleasant bit of theater. In between, Chach would stand in front of the TV and perform with her ukulele. Picture: Toddler in her pajamas and a winter hat.

"One. More. Song. One. More. Song," we'd chant after each song, so she would play another.
"Old MacDonald had a penguin," she began.

At one point she put the kabosh on our adoration.
"I'm not going to play one more song," she said. "I'm going to take a bow."  
So she clutched her hat in one hand, the uke in the other, and she crossed her legs and bent at the waist. A sort of Oliver Twist era street performer.

***

Lunch was tempeh reubens and salad. Chach ate peanut butter toast and blueberries.

***

My hoodie-footies were too hot this morning, so I stripped down to shorts and a tank top. Chach looked at me sitting next to her and exclaimed: YOU DON'T HAVE ANY PANTS ON. YOU JUST HAVE LEGS. (Pause) YOU GO PUT PANTS ON!

We spent much of the morning at the kitchen table. Chach created an elaborate city made of her paint containers.

"Orange is dead," she said. "I better take him to the cat place."*


FOOTNOTE
* We told her that Chuck took Hal to "the cat place" instead of saying he was sick and going to the vet.

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