Render me powerless, a Greek tragedy of a woman, who in this twenty first century should be empowered. No man or beast, no romance shattered, no mournful event forever etched in my mind, alas, the villain is corporate, a utility company without remorse or compassion. I am powerless among hundreds of thousands; we are defenseless, unarmed against a CEO and his linesmen. Our Horton-hears-a who of a selectman sends daily messages that go unheard. The corporate communicator is powerless as well. I toss, yet again, a full refrigerator and freezer of newly replenished food, fresh from the Irene debacle. No generous reprieve at the dump, this time the powerless woman must pay to dump her spoiled food, a sin.
Crews converse just across from the transfer station. They wear brightly colored vests and juggle hot coffee and cigarettes. Trucks line the road with names affixed to their sides that I cannot pronounce. I ask the dump attendant if they are on a lunch break, it is 9:30 in the morning. He says, ‘no, they haven’t started yet.’ God help the guy who flunked his anger management course. It is a certainty that someone, with powerless angst, could ruin their day.
I learn to navigate powerless. I go to bed way too early, flash light in hand, the sound of neighboring generators with one note capacities grinding out their melodies in the background. I have hauled several buckets of water to the door inside the garage. A mighty stack of wood sits next to the buckets for the wood stove. Eggs and milk are on the counter where the temperature is close to what the inside of my fridge should be, and I eat cereal for breakfast and dinner and thank the Gods my office has heat and a shower.
The driveway is impassable because of downed trees. I create an unorthodox access to my garage door through the pachysandra and between the wild apples trees. I hoot and holler, yahoo, every time I emerge from the trees, it makes me feel like I’ve discovered America. A week passes, and late Friday afternoon I slide my hood back and pass the stairs to my loft and what to my wondering eyes do I see? Lights, twinkling, brilliant lights. The power is up, is on, is gushing through the lines and sending messages to my furnace, to my toilets and to my appliances. The prince of power has come, kiss him long and hard. I am a woman empowered, warm, clean, and ready. I make a cup of tea and open the fridge where the light inside reflects off the empty shelves.
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Live each day well…or write a book.