The bang and blackout happen simultaneously, a fact I discerned the first time it happened and have rediscovered twice more since, including last night. It’s the transformer in the alley across the street. All the buildings on the block go dark, but the streetlights stay lit.
It’s never more than an hour or so, which is almost perfect. It’s long enough to have that conversation with yourself about how soft electrical heating and wifi have made you, how inattentive, and to resolve to make changes, but not long enough to endure the serious disruption of a prolonged power outage. When everything turns back on your first feeling is sadness; the benefits of life in the grid accompany constant demands.
You turn everything off manually and head for bed, clicking your analog alarm clock switch to “on,” happy that you bought it so that you can sleep with your phone in the kitchen and not by your bedside. The drawback of the clock will be lost on you until the morning: though analog, it too is electric, and it is now an hour behind.