July 10, 2012
I was alone in the apartment when the power went out. As I headed towards the front door, I had only my dark form in various mirrors to keep me company until I found Levi and Mollie walking towards me on the second floor balcony. We survey the scene before us: although it’s just as dark inside as it is outside, many have migrated outdoors to the patio or the front lawn. Everyone seems to have been searching for candles. Flashlights. Matches. Lost Roommates... The air is filled with the light from cars and the previously thought useless strobe app on the iPad.
Relieved to have found the security of my friends, we chat casually about when the power might return until an explosion in the mountains sounds through the valley. A few screams, laughs, and cheers follow. They may be fireworks or something more sinister, but the theories go flying anyway. Mollie concludes that this is one of three things. Maybe five. For convenience, I have compiled a list:
--Zombie apocalypse (not likely)
--Terrorists (not likely)
--Alien experiments (statistically more possible than terrorists...but still not likely)
--Armageddon (Levi's idea)
--Transformers (robots in disguise)
A few more have joined our gang at this point: Riley, Kirsten, Craig, and that judgmental kid that frequently creeps by our window to name a few. Hannah has returned from Smith’s as well. Together, we try to figure out when chaos will likely ensue. We come up empty. There’s really no way of telling with these kinds of things.
Text tones sound throughout the front lawn of the apartment complex; last minute attempts of contacting loved ones becomes a priority as none of the phones seem to have been able to charge adequately before the incident. About ten minutes ago, Hannah and Kirsten decided to go to their cars. They haven’t returned yet.
That pimped out golf cart keeps driving past us, and I’m tempted to throw water balloons at them. Police lights are also seen, but we hardly believe there’s much that they can do about this situation.
I yell over the porch asking who is going to step up as leader. One girl scoffs and asks what we would need a leader for in the first place. The rest of the group agrees with her and carry on with their game. They've rejected my idea. Even though I feel like it’s my responsibility to inform people about the possibilities of mass hysteria, I have never had the heart of a true leader. I couldn’t handle a crisis like this. I suppose she and the rest of them will figure it out soon enough.
Riley, not impressed, returns home. As he departs, he walks tall. I haven’t realized how much of a friend he’s been to me in the past few weeks, and I fear that this may be the last I’ll ever see of him.
Hannah and Kirsten update us on the survivors at an adjacent complex upon their return. It doesn’t sound good—people peeing off of roofs and setting the lawns on fire… The insane have officially run rampant. It’s only a matter of time before they begin looting our apartments. To relax, we sing songs with the guy that’s playing guitar. This attempt to calm down becomes increasingly difficult, especially with that person with the water gun shooting us down every few minutes.
It seems as though Levi has stepped up to the plate; A leader in him has come forward. He takes inventory of our supplies, namely the items required for molotov cocktails. Unfortunately, those are not a legitimate possibility as we are still in need of a hose to siphon out the gas from someone’s car. And of course, none of our cars actually have gas because we’re in college and we’re poor.
It’s been over an hour. Hope seems bleak, especially when Mollie makes a comment about all these people reconnecting, until their limbs start disconnecting. (She was particularly set on this being an experiment conducted by aliens.)
The power has come back on. Everyone is returning to their apartments and picking up where they left off. I, alone, remain outside, determined to finish these memoirs and to answer the following: What did this reveal about humanity? My mind is exhausted and I decide to mull this over later. Now, it’s time to get some shut-eye. It's been a long night.
The next morning--Conclusion
To be honest, I am still not definite on what the power outage was supposed to tell me. Perhaps it was simply to present to a part of the city the opportunity to let our vices go for one hour and get some fresh air. Maybe it’s embarrassing that we need an excuse like this to leave our air-conditioned, electricity-buzzing caves to interact with real friends and sing Tenacious D and scare the ever living out of ourselves, but if a reason is necessary… until the next power outage, my fellow tenants.