Our Power Got Shut Off Today and it is Real: No Energy Assistance to the Poor

I feel like Lady Macbeth, walking around this place with candles. Our power got shut off today at the very same time that the wind blew out the power in the apartment building, so I said to my husband something like, “Is it us? Or the wind?” It was us.

Because we are poor and I knew this would happen, I had collected some really cute candles from the dumpsters and put them with the lightbulbs, for days like these.

Anyway, I hawked my laptop (thank God I have Windows 7) at Cashland to get the power back on. For thirty-two dollars I get the beloved computer back in six days. Amazing how expensive it is to be this poor. While we were in Cashland doing this, a gentleman next to us was doing the same thing.

Meanwhile, to the power company I said, “Let me get this straight. If I am old and sick, say, on dialysis or  a respirator, or I cannot get out, there is nothing you can do? Didn’t there used to be laws against that?” I was referred to The Salvation Army, and I knew that was going nowhere, plus I am fifty but in shape and feel that emergency services should go to the elderly sick, but still. People will die behind this so-called ‘austerity’ crap. If I had a child in an unheated home without warm food, I would be charged with felony wanton endangerment but I guess the government can do whatever it wants to whomever it wants. Even old, sick people.

I am typing this on my husband’s computer. Which reminds me. Yesterday I was in a meeting downtown and my husband waited in the parking lot, doing Tai Chi. Someone called the cops and three cruisers arrived. By this time he had walked to the library and I was left standing there with the freaked out cops, who were claiming a “homeland security” breach, my hand to God I am not making this up. “He was doing Tai Chi,” I insisted, “and then he walked to the library.” I might as well have told them that the earth is flat, hollow, and inhabited on the interior.

Our biggest fear was that we would lose all the food we have hunter-gathered from dumpsters, a cache of food that we are proud to be enjoying.

On the dumster front, like I said, the wind was blowing today, and that was good, because I gathered up a few gutters and moldings from buildings that peeled off, so we hit recycle for fourteen dollars in cash from aluminum, and on the way home we swung by the discount grocery dumpster and picked up six or seven pounds of red seedless grapes, and a beautiful, perfectly-working juicer, still in the box, plus two new five-setting shower heads still in the package, a low-energy lightbulb and a few cans.

At a barbecue vendor dumpster we picked up five pounds of cole slaw, seal not even broken, with a March, 2011 expiration date, not thirty seconds after it had been delivered to the dumpster, plus a delicious Southern-style chicken dish that had been slow cooked and was delicious. We were in and out of that dumpster in less than fifteen seconds.

At home I took a candlelight shower with leftover hot water and I was just about to take the computer to the laundry room to plug it in when the power came on.

So at this point I tested the juicer, and made an amazing lemonade with lemons from the dumpster. I had been wondering what to do with all those lemons.

Hope everyone is well. Follow me on Twitter at CraneStation!

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