Less-Than-Flattering Thoughts in the Midst of an Absurdly Protracted Winter-Storm-Induced Power Outage

-It’s 2022 and I’m nestled right up against a prominent university, so… really?? (As someone who also works for a sprawlingly large and strategically opaque [to outsiders] entity, it would be fascinating to bust open the intricacies of the triage being applied to this situation, and the role of workforce-management-esque technology in determining it.)

-I’m kind of ashamed of my general discontent that persists in the face of considerable comfort. On one hand, since they closed my building and WFH is my only option, I can just be unable to work and still get paid, and no one is breathing down my neck about it, AND this likely won’t even count against my PTO reserve. On the other hand – what does it say about my relationship to my job that I prefer to sit in the cold darkness with no external stimulation, homely and bald and fairly unhygienic, thinking about random things with my eyes closed, than work at it – ?

-Speaking of: the skills I honed as a self-entertained only child in the rural south continue to pay off in spades.

-I feel guilty that, while I empathize with the people in our vicinity who are really struggling – especially those with like, three small children under four years old – I somehow can’t keep my gut from doing a dumb happy flip on my own behalf every time the ETA gets extended.

-The weather-proofing of this apartment might be insanely good, esp. for a place built in the late 80s (early 90s?). It has not dipped below 60 degrees this whole time, despite Tuesday night ‘s outdoor temps reaching the 20s.

-This has been the weirdest vacation, but I can’t complain. I finally replaced my holey sneakers (the kind of thing I tend to put off beyond all reason). I tried out a hand-turbine. I relished the swell of candlelight on my cheeks (not my nightly tea lights, but our tall, fat, emergencies-only pillar candles), and the aroma of snuffed flames afterwards. I am re-reading the few books I own and reminding myself why they are the only ones I chose to keep with me.

-I would have been SO much more relaxed around the holidays if I’d have known I’d be out of work for almost a full week afterward.

-It’s been interesting to charge my devices at the public library each afternoon and overhear people. The college athlete bonding with his grandma on the floor by a wall outlet. The elderly community organizer being cordial on his business calls but curtly impatient with his wife (“Can’t you just let me alone and go look at books?”). The retired teacher telling the mid-career teacher she got breakthrough COVID after both shots and a booster, which took the form of a two-day fever (“Not MY idea of mild!”). The gaggle of parents and children that bounded into the building announcing, “We’ve got kids who need to use the bathroom, they can’t do it at home!!”

-People are being a little theatrical on the local news’ social media (per usual). Then again, it’s impossible to distinguish between the rage addicts and the folks who’ve got dependents and are in genuine fear. Though one sweet woman just said, “Bless these linemen,” a compassionate statement I totally echo. So much in fact that I pulled up Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman” and listened to it in the dark, and then discovered a silky modern cover of it by Black Pumas.

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