For this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday , Dylan Hughes gives us the first line of “One by one the lights of the city block winked out, the dark coming ever closer.”
I was going to write a post today about a power outage we had last night, where block by block, the transformers that power our neighborhood blew as a result of an electric substation that apparently also blew. When I saw today’s first line, I thought I might adapt it to suit the post I was planning on writing anyway. In my semi-rural, suburban neighborhood, where we don’t have sidewalks, much less streetlights, I couldn’t exactly use “lights of the city block” in my response. So, as you’ll see below, I modified the first line a bit to fit the reality of what happened.
Last night, at around 8:20, the lights of the homes in our neighborhood winked out when, one by one, the transformers sitting atop telephone poles blew, casting our streets in total darkness. My wife saw a light flash outside of our kitchen window and then we heard a loud popping sound. I ran outside, where my neighbor, already in the street, was pointing to the transformer high atop the telephone pole across from my house. He told me it had just blown in a mini-explosion. And then I saw another transformer at the end of our block light up for an instant and heard another popping sound. My biggest fear was that if any sparks from the blown transformers hit the ground, they might trigger wildfires right in my neighborhood. Fortunately, I didn’t see any sparks, just smoke coming from the transformers and the unpleasant smell of seared electrical wires.
I took my dog out for a quick walk and the only light to be seen was from my headlamp and from the flashlights of my many neighbors out in the streets. I think that they, too, were worried about the threat of a fire as a result of the blown electric transformers and/or falling live wires.
This was the second power failure in our neighborhood in a week. I wrote in this post last week about the first power outage this season in our area. It was bad because it was 110° when the power went out and it lasted for four hours. With no air conditioning, it didn’t take long for our home to get uncomfortably hot. Fortunately, for last night’s outage, it wasn’t nearly as hot as it was the last time the power went out. It was in the low 60s last night.
The good news was that by around 10:20 last night the power came back on, so the outage this time was only about half as long, two hours, as the one we had last week. And, as I said, it wasn’t brutally hot this time.
Anyway, I hope, Dylan, I didn’t screw up your First Line Friday prompt this week too badly, but with power outages casting my street into a darkness that seems to be coming ever closer these days — both literally and, sadly, metaphorically — I’m using my privilege as a blogger to leverage your prompt in a slightly different manner.