Lights out at 7:35 p.m.
No, this is not a description of our Baby Boomer bedtime.
Lights off, TV becalmed, desktop computers no longer sleeping, but shut down. More importantly, the carefully-plugged in emergency light poised between the kitchen and family room did not come on to bathe us in imitation sunshine.
Our family room felt vacuumed, cleared of light and sound. My fright went electric…
While one too many scary scenarios bloomed in my brain – was it terrorists, someone set to slay and/or rob us, a power company prank – my husband immediately slid outdoors. What?! He was leaving me alone?
In a few moments, in the sliding door he emerged, arms raised in a victory pose, grinning broadly. Our entire neighborhood of approximately 100 hillside and flatland homes was “boom-boom, out go the lights!”
Meanwhile I was wondering why the emergency light didn’t flash on, and where the heck were matches for the candles, since the Bic Flicker wouldn’t light on our last foray with the outdoor barbecue.
Yes, I knew where the candles were. When panicked, it’s good to be organized. I had to grab my phone in case I needed to rapidly dial 9-1-1, but I needed light to reach my office, where it was nestled in my purse.
Different strokes for different folks: a need for light and glee for dark.
I do not revel in sudden power outages throughout our neighborhood, a vast swath of land down a hillside and extending a mile to a main street near UC Irvine. Murders have occurred in our perfect suburban, wealth-protected sphere. I succumbed to self-protection mode, while my husband sought to know the extent of the problem. As a man of size and self-confidence, he immediately felt safe.
He’d never spent hours home alone, as I did for years, while he traveled on business in Elsewhere, USA. He’d never experienced the freaky, sporadic bumps and grinds of a roof with a dozen skylights, aroused by weather with wind.
My husband is an athlete, in command of his body, not a klutz like me. He is brilliant: his scientific knowledge and inquiring mind help him to feel in command of the world. He embraces the wild rumpus of nature and the beyond.
He’d never worked with victims of domestic violence…
Because of our different perspectives – not true planets of origin, because we are mutually humans from/on earth – we each found ease in our own way, complementing each other.
Always and forever. Amen.
P.S. The power came on at midnight, awakening me with lights on throughout our home. I got up to turn out the lights, while my husband snoozed on, perhaps dreaming of Mars.
He is My Favorite Martian.