The power cut 90 minutes ago, just as dusk was setting in, and she is seated in front of the gas fireplace, a candle flickering in the Ikea lantern beside her, more decoration than a source of light. The portable electric lamp is propped on her knee, a journal in her lap. The dark is not absolute so much as muted. We seek the rustic, the before, romanticizing the lack of convenience, convinced that in another time, we wouldn’t find a way to still be lost.
Isn’t it a marvel, that with only a limit of gadgets, full shelter and heat, running water and a stocked fridge and freezer, we have the nerve to think we’re roughing it? The novelty of writing with pen and paper has yet to wear off. She stares at her atrocious penmanship, wonders if she’ll be able to make it out well enough tomorrow to transcribe it into digital form.
Certain that the power will be back tomorrow. Certain that when the hydro company gives an ETA for the electricity, she can trust that timeline.
She thinks of the people in Gaza, with their rolling outages, more hours without power than with, thinks of how the biggest inconvenience she has experienced this month is a daily occurrence in their lives, and far from the biggest indignity they encounter.
All she had to decide was how to spend her idyllic evening. To read a book by lamplight, her belly full, and check her phone less often to preserve battery.
How staggeringly uneven the world is, how shockingly unfair.