Jun 14, 2024

Power Outages, a Wig and Some Snow


Hidden Beach, Hornby Island

I was bored that first February on the island. 
I made my first dating profile. 
Then the power went out for two days and I forgot about the profile.
That first February, when it snowed nine inches, 
the pump for my cistern broke and 
I had no water for a week. 
No way on or off the island. 
It was a long weekend, and the ferries broke down. 
That time I slipped down the entire flight of stairs from the loft. 
That time I bought a long brown wig and thought about changing my identity.
The first time I saw a river otter in my yard, I thought it was a pheasant. 
That time Joan ran from me after she accused me of trying to kill her. 
That time at the depot when Jason asked me if I smoked weed, gave me an empty Costco cashew container and 
directed me to the two contractor bags full of fresh bud in 
the back seat of his beat-up pickup. 
I gave the weed to friends on the Coast. 
Those times at night, crying myself to sleep in a king-size bed that wasn’t mine. 
Mornings with Flo. 
Her meowing when the coffee was ready. Asking me to come downstairs. 
“Mommy, coffee’s ready!” 
She gave me a reason to get out of bed. 
The cat with the toupee and Hitler moustache that would spy on me from the absent neighbour’s yard. 
The blind old man in his mobility scooter with his fat, smiling, yellow lab 
That yellow dog always made me smile. 
He reminded me of my childhood dog Gus. 
That time I asked my neighbour to come sit with me for a while. 
That first time, the power went out for fifteen hours. 
I was not prepared—no water, food or means of cooking. 
That first time I sat by the campfire in my backyard, eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate- it started to snow. 
The time backing out of my driveway, hitting a tree and knocking the driver’s side mirror off my car - 
six months of a bread bag duct taped around the dangling remnants of mirror and wires. 
And the other time the power went out, I had to melt snow in a bucket by the fire, 
but the fire melted the bucket. 
That day you can tell winter is finally over.

The Wind