BLACKOUT

One night in mid-October last year, a storm rolled over Utah Valley, winds bending the trees and windows rattling against the abrasive thunder. In the house, my roommates, a few friends and I were having a few drinks, playing music and games when the power went out. The darkness drenched the walls and the electric buzz of the house ceased. Every few minutes there was a flash of lighting followed by a low growl and the churn- ing of clouds and wind.

Everyone found their way to the upstairs dining table, with candles, flashlights and the light emanating from their phones. As I sat at the table I realized that had I left my phone downstairs. I grabbed a candle and made my way to the basement. There weren’t a lot of windows down there, making the darkness suffocating. I began to think, “What if this is it? What if the power never comes back on?”

This was before the dreaded December 21, 2012 doomsday prophecy-date which, circumstantially seemed to enhance any apocalypse scenario that came to my head. I thought about the amount of food we had in the house, and if this was indeed the end, that food would only last us a few days. How would we get food after that? What if there was no more running water, how would we obtain that? The reality of my unprepared- ness for such a situation hit me. It terrified me a little. More than the ‘zombie apocalypse’ or the ‘fatal asteroid apocalypse,’ the simplicity of being cut-off from the grid felt more terrifying because it was plausible, I was experiencing a piece of it. Just the fact that the clocks weren’t showing their bright green numbers on the microwave and stove felt un- easy, like we had become unhinged from the safe structure of time. I’d become so used to technology, that perceiving a life without it was like perceiving withdrawals from drugs.

Once I grabbed my phone and made my way upstairs, we began playing cards—which by candle light painted a picture of survivors hunkering down together, surviving the apocalyptic night with the simple pleasantries of games. I wondered that if and when the time did come for survival, if we could actually do it—if put to the test, could we pass together without crumbling? But before I could answer, the lights flickered back on and we continued the party.

Jordan Freytag / HEX Writer

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