Last week, I’d gone outside to get some air because my apartment was approximately 78 basquillion degrees and, quite frankly, I’d gotten a bit tired of playing Batman. Unfortunately, my apartment is no longer nicknamed “FBI Surveillance Van” in part because I don’t have anyone to stalk, and mostly because my kids are all “IT’S THE BATCAVE!” Kids, man. Their originality is bogus.
That being here nor there, I’d been happily admiring the twinkly Christmas lights because OMG SPARKLE IS TOTALLY A COLOR when I heard a BAM! and suddenly half the lights in my apartment complex went out. Now, it had been snowing in the most minor of forms – really a dusting or sprinkling if you prefer, and while it was cold as balls, the conditions didn’t seem quite right for a blackout.
I went back inside where my kids were screaming about the DC Superfriends or something, and as I sat on the couch, preparing for my role as Poison Ivy, the power flickered for a second, then went out completely.
My kids, being lovers of light, were all, “Oh Em Gee, what the hell happened?” to which I responded, “I think it’s a rolling blackout.” I really just wanted to sound smart in front of them, because I don’t actually know what a rolling blackout is – I assume it’s some sort of black ball that squashes people until they black out before moving on to squash someone else.
They looked at me quizzically, or at least I think they did – I couldn’t see anything beyond the flickering of the candle I’d been burning before the night became oh so exciting.
“Okay,” Alex stated, taking uncharacteristic charge of the situation. “Let’s play the Wii.”
“Um,” I said, as I was looking for more candles and feeling mighty dumb about not owning a flashlight. “The Wii needs electricity, J, and we don’t have any right now.”
The two of them frowned in my direction before deciding to change tactics: “How about My Little Pony?”
“Guys,” I said, as I panicked, realizing my phone had been left uncharged and the kids had been using it to watch Curious George, which always baffles me. Why would you want to watch television on a screen roughly the same size and shape as a pack of cigarettes? I can’t get a straight answer out of them, and they don’t seem to mind that it drains the phone’s battery like WOAH, so I just let ’em strain their ocular muscles and shit while I watch the television-shaped television. But that meant my phone was near-death and my only means of communication with the outside world.
Naturally, I panicked.
“What about dinner?” they whined, having forgotten that we’d eaten ten minutes before, as they headed to the refrigerator.
“Guys, we can’t go in there right now – we have to keep the cold inside the refrigerator until the power’s back on.” They moaned histrionically, before deciding that the source of their ire was, in fact, electricity, or lack thereof.
“I hate electricity,” Mimi declared in the candlelight, her arms crossed and eyebrows furrowed so deeply that I couldn’t help but giggle. She’s hilarious when she’s mad.
“ME TOO,” Alex chimed in. “It’s so stupid.” I imagine he rolled his eyes as he said this, but my back was turned, lighting yet another candle.
“This is fun!” I tried to explain, knowing that this did, in fact, suck ass, especially since it was likely we’d be without power for awhile, which meant no Internet porn, no House, MD marathons, no phone calls, and no, well, dinner.
The three of us gathered at the window, noting the shiny red/blue/white cop car lights clearly sitting in front of the entrance to our complex, because we ALL know that gaping makes the power return faster.
“Wow,” they breathed in. “That’s pretty.” And they were right – between the snow slowly falling from the sky and the shiny lights flickering nearby, it looked sorta magical. Or it would’ve if my heat was capable of returning The FBI Surveillance Van into a toasty oven again.
“Mama,” Mimi said. “I’m cold.”
“Me too,” Alex chimed in.
“Me three,” I replied to them both. “Let’s bundle up and snuggle in bed like baby kittens.”
And so we did. We fell asleep together in a pile on my bed, huddling under the blankets for warmth until 1AM, when the power was magically restored. Awakened and entirely freaked out by the sudden blaring of the television and lights, I peeled small people off my person, and went to turn off the appliances.
I turned up the heat on my way back to the bedroom, laughing quietly when I realized that the two small people had taken advantage of my absence and had filled my empty spot with their spider-like limbs.
Carefully, I disentangled their limbs and crawled between them. As I was closing my eyes, ready to head back into the land of nod, Mimi, then Alex, each threw one of their gangly limbs over me. I smiled as I drifted off to sleep, the sudden increase in temperature making us all sweat like we’d been running a marathon, happy to be firmly ensconced between two of my favorite people on the planet.
Until, of course, they began kicking my kidneys with their sharp pointy toes.
Can’t win ’em all, right?