I remember where I was September 8, 2011, the day of the Power Outage 2011. It was about 3:40 in the afternoon and I was sitting at my desk at work, taking a mental break from writing about garage doors and reading about the toll September 11, 2001 had on the children of those who died. This is something I found funny… reading about destruction and despair as the whole city (and soon other states and part of another country) loses power. We’ll lose power for a few minutes because of bad weather or some car accident, but it’s usually localized and back on in a matter of minutes. I immediately posted my enthusiasm for the break in routine to Facebook and then texted my boyfriend. It was when he responded with “here, too,” that I knew the power outage wasn’t localized and wasn’t likely to be back on. He was on the other side of town, so far away that there was no way some accident or overuse of power or other normal cause of an outage was the culprit. This was citywide.
Soon I got text messages from other friends, and started sending them to people in San Diego’s extremities. Downtown? Out. Escondido? Out. Coronado? Out. The power outage had reached from Carlsbad to downtown/Coronado, and from the oceans to La Mesa. This was going to be big.
Within the first half hour reports came in that the outage extended as far north as San Clemente (Orange County) to as far south as parts of Mexico (a whole other country), and as far east as Arizona and New Mexico (other states). I was constantly texting my friends and refreshing Facebook for updates; I knew that Los Angeles was safe from the lack of updates from Facebook and because my family members hadn’t texted, but the rest of us were in for an interesting night.
That was when the excitement really hit. At first the power outage was an interesting distraction from the monotony of work. But after the first 30 minutes it became clear this wasn’t going away soon, and because by then it was already after 4pm there wasn’t much reason to remain at work. I did, though, because no one else was leaving and because I’d heard that the freeways were more like parking lots, but when 5pm rolled around and the power still wasn’t back on I peaced out.
I headed to South Park with a friend in search of fun. We found free gelato and $1.50 beers in a candlelit bar. After that I met up with my boyfriend at his friend’s house in my neighborhood for more candlelit atmosphere (and more beer), and after that I headed home, because my day tomorrow is scheduled as normal.
And as I write this (on Word, using the battery on my borrowed laptop), I’m alone in my candle-lit apartment, snacking on my dinner of cold jalapeno artichoke dip and chips, and feeling like my boyfriend should be here to appreciate the ambiance. Candles might be girly but they’re also ridiculously sexy. Candlelight makes anyone look hot and sets the perfect mood… as much as I wanted to be alone tonight, now I wish I wasn’t.
Although I do need the money, I hope the power outage lasts long enough to let me leave work tomorrow. If that happens I’ll bring the fish that’s sitting in my fridge (that I *just* bought) to my friend’s house and with her gas stove and/or barbecue we’ll make a feast. It’ll be a day I’m not at work, which will make it automatically good, and it’ll be a day I’m with my lady, which will make it automatically great, and eventually the power will come back on and everything will return to normal and, hopefully, I won’t have lost much food. Because honestly that’s the worst that can happen.
Oh hey, it's 11pm and the power came back on. Well what do you know.