Anyway, spending a week (if repairs go as expected, I'll have power back this Friday—a full week after it went out) without any sort of lighting aside from candles and no hot water and no air conditioning (during a massive heat wave and drought, I might add) has been a unique experience. I have become a master at gritting my teeth and diving underneath ice-cold showers, which is not an experience I would urge anyone to undertake if they have a choice, and I've discovered which of my clothes are not good for humidity at all.
The funny thing, of course, is that it's not the heat and humidity that makes me grumpy in itself. What bothers me is that I don't have a choice in being exposed to said heat and humidity. I can live with the whole bathing-in-arctic-fishing-hole thing because I choose to do it—to have that choice removed would make it just as intolerable as the rest of the situation.
So, y'know, while we've literally lost power, the whole experience is also very connected to the concept of losing power in general (that is, losing control of a situation). Very often, I think, we control very little in our own lives, but those things that we can control we tend to hold onto so tightly that we risk losing them altogether (and by 'we', what I actually mean is 'I'). It's not a terribly healthy approach to life, but it manages to get us through the day.
And, interestingly enough, the entire idea of losing control and power over one's own situation is connected to my next topic—"On Being an Idiot". Recently, while I was having my latest moment of panic and abject terror at the possibility of the future, it occurred to me that my past is sprinkled by memorable instances of mind-numbing stupidity. Not the kind of stupidity that other people would notice, necessarily, but rather decisions that I made on a very small level that—in retrospect—were absolutely moronic and short-sighted. When I look back on those moments, an unmistakable sense of desolation and irritation at myself overwhelms me, and it makes me want to hit my head on my keyboard repeatedly. Or, to put it in a way that is more in line with my actual thought process at the time, "OHMIGOSH WHY WAS I SO STOOOOOOOOPID?!?" which was then in turn resolved into, "By Castor and Pollux, what foul sense of idiocy and absence of mind compelled me to act in such a mad way?" and then into, "You know what? I give up. SOMETIMES I JUST SUCK."
The worst part, though, is that now I realize how dull I was at the time, and it's far too late to do anything about it. I don't know that anything can ever be done about it again. That's the way it is, but I wish I could change it. I really do. But, you know, if I tried to rectify things now, I think it would only come off as very strange.
But I kind of want to try, anyway.
Life is funny that way. It contains elements of all the best stories and all the worst, like a vortex filled with swirling emotions and experiences shared by so many and yet unique to each person. Which, perhaps, is why stories have this way of living on thousands of years after first being written, and why a good book can make us laugh and cry and be happy and sad all at once. We're all the heroes of our own stories, anyway...although I still haven't managed to get my life to conform to a four-act structure. I have lots of tension, though, so I think I should be a bestseller. (<--this is a snark. I am not actually trying to market myself as a book.)
Current Project: CUDDLE MONSTERS
Progress: Attempting to Plot (sacrificing to the gods of plotting)
Inspiration: This picture.