Got a light?

The clock–if I had a running clock–would read 11:15 p.m. The passage of time is one of the only normal things this evening; that and the dog’s desire to throw his bone around for awhile are about the only constants.

Interestingly, very little emotion followed this afternoon’s blackout (as the following details will reveal). The air conditioner made funny noises at 4:10. I glanced from my computer to the sofa and asked the dog, “What are those noises, pup?” Next thing we knew there was no power. My fiancee, Amy, was stuck in midtown, but Charley and I were safe and sound, so we hunkered down and waited.

Amy showed up close to six, not long after my phone briefly allowed for a few incoming calls, from her and from a friend in Chicago. Amy and I trekked down 11 flights of stairs to walk the dog, and I retrieved my car from the parking lot under the building. We quickly found a parking spot and returned upstairs to monitor the evening’s events.

Around 8 p.m. we decided not to bother driving anywhere, since traffic was so overwhelming, and at 9:30 we made a trip back downstairs (22!) to walk the dog. Not much else to tell. We had half a dozen candles and two flashlights to light the apartment, and we discovered the NYU Palladium dorm across 14th Street has massively bright emergency lighting in its glassed-in upstairs hallways, so our blinds are wide open and providing a fairly normal overnight glow.

On our first trip downstairs we bought bananas and water and haven’t really consumed either. Amy made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner. I didn’t eat. I read the paper–too weird a night to do classwork and too impossible to access my consulting files. Amy went to bed at 10:30 and I snuffed the candles at 11.

If you’re wondering, I’m on a laptop using a dialup account. One of the major gaffes of our day is not having a phone that runs without electrical power; the telephone system is working fine, if you can get to it.

Authorities hope to have power by morning. If we get up (with the sun around 6 a.m., since the blinds are wide open) and we are still shut down, we’ll be reverse commuting to our parents for a shower. And that’s that.

Oh, and Amy’s cell phone has worked most of the evening on her Verizon network while my AT&T GSM phone crapped out as usual. I am so ready for number portability.

And air conditioning.