Monday, September 26, 2016
If you saw the isolated place where I live you'd wonder why I chose to be here. If you knew how creepy it is at night, you'd give me big points for bravery.
The first few weeks were the most intimidating. I wasn't used to the penetrating darkness, or the unnerving forest sounds. Or the fact that any semblance of human assistance was far away.
I'm alone. With my cats. And my rampantly acute imagination. The long, inhospitable hours between dusk and dawn are filled with the unholy possibilities of marauding murders, restless ghosts, and inhuman abstractions in search of vulnerability.
As a child, my imagination was delicious. It is even more so now - with the sophisticated additions of adulthood.
So what am I getting at? Hell if I know. I was merely exercising my mediocre way with words.
Oh, yea. A spooky night.
After existing nearly two years in this place (I moved here in November, 2014) I am completely used to it. The lonely, isolated nighttime hours never bother me. I occasionally venture outside at night. I leave the shades up on my windows. I have even been known to leave a door unlocked now and then.
Insanity prevails here - - not bravery.
But - despite my feigned fearlessness - there are times when raw reality hits me and I'm afraid. Only momentarily, but afraid nevertheless.
Last night was spooky.
I was writing in bed, working on my nearly-completed children's book. It was a warm, clear, quiet, completely calm night.
Just before midnight the lights began to flicker. Then they blinked off.....on.....off.....on. Off. Power failure.
Everything went black. And when I say black, I mean pitch black. Words can hardly express the profound depth of darkness in this remote place. I was completely unprepared.
As if on cue (I am not exaggerating), a pack of coyotes started hooting and howling and wandered up the slope to my house. They surrounded the place and seemingly taunted me with their eerie inhuman yelps and jeers.
It was really unnerving. I wasn't dressed. Couldn't find my boots. Couldn't find a flashlight. As I groped and wandered around, bashing into things and doing a bad Helen Keller imitation, my imagination was in overdrive.
What could have caused a power failure tonight? There were no storms, no wind. No nothing. My mind suddenly conjured visions of In Cold Blood....and Helter Skelter. What if the wires were deliberately cut - and murderous maniacs were outside, intent on getting in?
I finally found the flashlight and managed to put on some clothes. I lit two candles in the kitchen, put batteries in a transistor radio, and grabbed my cell phone.
The coyotes eventually left but I still heard weird noises near the back porch - which is nearly on the edge of the forest.
Abandoning fear, I took my flashlight and gun (hell yes - I'm armed) and went outside. The darkness was beyond black - no moon, no nothing. The first thing I ran into was a big spider web (a repeat of what I did the other day).
With flashlight, pistol, and remnants of the web I pushed through damp, waist-high weeds and circled the house. Nothing. All was quiet except for the usual owl hooting in a nearby tree.
Back in the house, my fears evaporated completely...but new apprehensions arose. I remembered that I had lots of food in the fridge and freezer - enough for two weeks. It would perish if the power didn't return.
I called the after-hours number for the local power company. No answer.
I said to hell with everything! and went to bed.
Kept my window wide open and laid there watching the bright stars. My cat Bosco climbed onto my chest and we both went to sleep.
I woke up around 8:00 this morning and the power was still off. I called the power company again and ....just as a recorded message put me on "hold" - - the power came back on!!
It was amazing and I rejoiced.
I took a helluva long time to tell a story about absolutely nothing, but that's one of my talents....and charms.