Friday, July 6, 2012

Our Unconditioned Fifth

Our new central air system had worked splendidly since the second of July when, on the morning of July the fifth the power failed around here. At that very moment I was engaged in composing an irreverent verse celebrating Not the confirmation that the Higgs particle was for real. Needless to say, no power, no air conditioning. After three weeks of enduring the disruption of our routines while our new system was born by A- B- C- and even D-section of our 1929 residence, the event totally demoralized me. Brigitte took it much more bravely. Detroit Edison predicted that our power would be back—and this is an estimate, said the lady on the phone—by about Sunday night at around 10:15 p.m. We suffered through the day and then decided that we’d spend those projected days of darkness, humidity, and heat with Monique and John at Wolverine lake—one of the few pockets in this metro area that had been spared. At last we got going around 4 in the afternoon and drove off with all of our most vital perishables iced in coolers—and with our six caterpillars nicely boxed. Could we leave them behind? No. We arrived at Monique’s and John’s at about five. Ten minutes later our neighbor, Lindsay, telephoned. The power was back! Yes, back. All is well. Detroit Edison had beat its own estimate by three days!

Now the Fifth of July was a rather quiet day for me. I felt a deep guilt for this blackout. It happened to us, I believe, because I was irreverent to the God-particle. However briefly, it actually absented itself from our electric current, teaching us a lesson about Particulus absconditus—and what that feels like. When it had chased me from my computer, finally, it relented and returned. And all was well again.


  1. I remember those storms: they took an odd vector from the northwest straight down to the southeast... sort of as if they were following the southward pointing loop of the jet stream that held our heat wave in place.

    However, I notice no hosannas and paeans to the Higgs particle yet...

    1. There was such an event, but the participants modestly confessed that they were only 99.999 percent sure they'd really found the Elusive One...


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