Monday, August 08, 2011

Power Outage Day!

The lights will go out and you’ll all hold still, unsure what it means to the agreement you established in the living room. Do you continue as if nothing happened or should you all take a time-out to go and fish your phones out of your pants pockets to check on the sitters.

“What do you think?” you ask Horace.

“I think it’s perfect,” he says.

He’s right, it is perfect. Thanks to a little accidental overuse of air conditioning, it feels like the city has shut down, life has hit pause, so that you all could step out of your usual roles as wife, husband, mother, and father and pretend for a little while that you are completely free to do as you please, to wander into another bedroom, another bed, a bed with Horace.

“Sweetie?” It’s your husband. He’s at the door. “Not coming in. Just checking, think it’s okay?”

While smiling at Horace, a smile he can see by the moonlight, say, “I think it’s more than okay. We’ll call in a half-hour, but I’m sure they’re fine.”

Horace will kiss you once then pull your underwear from beneath your skirt. You’ll hear your husband’s steps as he returns to his bedroom next door, where Horace’s wife is waiting for him. Kiss Horace again on the lips before he leaves a trail of kisses between your ribs. Lay back with your head hanging off the edge of the bed so that you can see the moon upside down. You’ll see the whole city upside down, even the tanks moving down the middle of the street.

Tanks. You’ll flip over to make sure you’re seeing right. Someone in the TV room will start shouting about what he just learned via CNN, then one of the servicemen outside will explain through a mobile PA system what it means for a city to be occupied. You get back into your clothes and your marriages, racing to head home to your children, racing through a world that became a very different place while you wandered.

Happy Power Outage Day!