Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Absence of

I was busy surfing the internet, looking at Youtube videos, commenting on my friends’ posts on Facebook and typing some diarrhea of words at my Blogger when it happened. The lights went out all of a sudden and sheer silence and darkness ruled the whole atmosphere at eight twenty-two in the evening. On top of that, I swear I could almost feel my sweat boiling (seriously not exaggerating here). No, we didn’t fail to pay our electric bill. Nor did my brother play his usual prank of switching off our main power supply. It was (insert drum roll here please) the schedule for power saving blackouts!

I and my four siblings hate blackouts. For my two younger brothers closest to my age, blackouts mean putting the electric guitar to a rest. My younger sister doesn’t want to miss her favorite TV show either and that I think is reason enough to justify her loathing for not being able to turn on “Panasonic”. The youngest of us, our little brother hates -not fears- the dark; I know this because he explained in detail that he fears ‘what is in the dark’ and not ‘the dark itself’. My six year old brother is like that and sometimes, I wonder if someone switched his kiddie brain with a grown-up owned one. I mean he’s so good with reasoning than other kids close his age.

Anyway, the four of us eldest blindly sought the dark to secure our flashlights while my little brother screamed for “Mommy!” who minutes ago was doing her needlework. All of us gathered for supper with only the candles (and the flashlight) to at least make us see the food we were eating hurriedly. After that, we all decided to make time pass by sharing stories with each other which was strange because we usually sleep our way through blackouts. Much to our little brother’s chagrin, I had so much fun telling ghost stories. I would lower my voice and give them an animated narration and with the dramatic use of the flashlight, I would achieve a haunting effect. Similarly, but with different ‘approach’, my seventeen year old brother was so good at telling jokes and lame stories that we ended up laughing our way despite the semi-darkness. My mother told us her childhood experiences and we gained wisdom from her witty and interesting attitude on storytelling.

Soon, everyone was playing with the shadows cast from flashlights. It was amazing how all of us could be creative at showcasing our shadow-casting talents using improvised 'materials' (hands). It was so entertaining that each of us almost had the same look on our faces when the electricity surged again at eleven thirty... and that was disappointment. Our dream world may be short-lived but its end created a new bond within us. It wasn't really all thanks to the inventor of flashlight. And it mainly wasn't for the power outage that things have been different. If we chose to sleep our way instead of opening up with each other, none of the surprising things would have happened. We would have experienced none of those thrills and excitement. I felt like a child again as I realized that most importantly, If we didn't welcome each other, none of us would have shared the individual lights burning within us. I would never forget that moment as slowly, each one of us leap to our beds as we said our ‘good nights’.

Almost an hour had passed, but I was still unable to sleep.

All the lights were turned off. I left them as is, grabbed my flashlight, pen, and notebook, and went out of the house. This was my way of battling my insomnia attacks. In a moment of sudden inspiration, I was about to write a poem about unrequited love. I beamed the light to the notebook I was holding. Then I felt as if someone was looking down at me, and I faced the dark sky and looked upon the glitter of stars scattered like silver dust on a black blank page. Then I knew I was up for a new topic. I mentally crashed out "unrequited love" and the earlier events of the night flashed through my head. I drank in the sight of the twinkling diamonds, muttered to myself, and scribbled on my notebook:

“Without the dark, we’ll never see the stars...”

I smiled to myself, and I smiled at that someone looking at me from above, because I knew it was true.

~anamellie, 060110

Authors note: Thankfully, this post is a brownout survivor!