We lost power for two hours last night. The weather radar on the TV showed blobs of red approaching the area until the howl of the wind and pelting rain finally put us in the dark. Or you'd think it would be dark after sunset, with massive thunderstorms rolling overhead. But with clouds drifting so close to the ground, any light from areas that still had power made its way up and got diffused to the point that black skies turned an erie orange. With no power and the only major light source outside, people gathered on balconies to watch the trees blow around.
For a moment I was back in Hurricane Gustav, standing with a friend on the balcony, listening to leaves and branches clashing against each other, watching people move through the half empty parking lot, thinking "what the hell are you doing out in this weather?" I was back when we had nothing to do but play cards, drink wine, and watch trees dance against the orange night. With everything man made quieted around us, we may as well have been the last people on earth. Digital clocks sat dark and time didn't pass until the sun came up.
Back in the present, half a dozen incandescent bulbs resumed their burning, electrical gadgets buzzed to life, the computer beeped, the air conditioner kicked on. Those two hours last night could just as easily been five minutes or half a day and it would have felt the same. With so many flashing lights and loud noises around us all the time, it was nice to be unplugged for a while, letting the rain and wind compete for loudest sound, and the tangerine sky be the brightest thing around.