The music stops, the TV falls silent.
The telephone dies mid-ring.
Someone lights a gas-lamp and places it on the kitchen bench.
The family gathers round - the ones watching TV, the ones cooking dinner, the ones reading outside, the visitors.
We sit around the kitchen bench, forced out of our solitude by the invading blackness.
The evening has stolen the soft light of the early winter day, and as we gather round the gas-lamp like moths to a solitary flame, we talk.
The darkness has drawn us all closer together - we talk and laugh, and share stories.
Then, with a buzzing flicker, the light returns.
The visitors depart, the cooking resumes, the television blares to life. We all return to our separate activities, and we all forget the difference the lack of power makes to our lives, our activities, our relationships with one another.
All, that is, except for me.
© mjc 9 May 1999