(notebook, 8 pm) i assumed that the power outage would send my friends home from work, so i had a vague idea that i would walk south until i could take a taxi to phil's. then it dawned on me that everyone would be hailing cabs - if the cabs were operating - and it would be best to stay here. the digital phone network went from perpetually busy to broken an hour ago, so i couldn't tell anyone where i was going anyway. so much for revisiting the excitement of the stanford blackout of '97, when my candle hoard was larger than the dorm's.

when was the last time this city was in near-total darkness? if you've seen 28 days later, picture a long shot of the london flat where a strand of christmas lights picks a single window from dozens of skyscrapers. maybe one in twenty-five apartments has a bank of candles, and the occupants of each lit room are peeping out to look at each other. my lights are at the coffee table, but i like this imagined idea of people asserting themselves - i am, i am, i am. i can't think of another reason to waste so much light at the edge of a room. makes me want to write a poem - no, really.

(notebook, 9.30 pm) hospitals have backup generators and someone's radio announced that the subway was successfully evacuated, so i'm allowing myself to be specifically worried about joe stranded at 42nd street (170 blocks from home). i hope his building had the foresight to get people out early, and that he walked to phil's place in chelsea. my cell phone is running out of batteries, but i don't want to turn it off and miss his call if i fall asleep and the power comes back. a neighbor said that the outage originated at niagara falls, that new york and most of jersey are dark. something else on a radio about how much this will cost the city, and that no, it wasn't a terrorist attack.

No comments: