Electricity

Tonight, my housing complex lost power twice. The first time, at 7pm, wasn’t too bad because the sun had not yet set. I went out to get coffee, and when I came back the power was back on. The second, after midnight, came after I heard a helicopter flying overhead. Our complex spans a full block suddenly turned dark. An impermeable darkness settled in the interior courtyards, and the flashlights of strangers in the parking lot looked like unwelcome intruders. My mother lit candles.

I walked out of the apartment and down the stairs, away from the courtyard into the street running behind. The lights were on, and to my left, in the middle of the street, a girl was having an intense conversation with a guy in a jeep liberty. As I neared them, a white utility truck with flashing lights came around the corner. The girl flattened herself against the jeep, looking ridiculous in the reflected orange glow. The truck edged past and drove off towards the parking lot on the other side of the apartments.