Peter and his Pick-Axe

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Like Matthew with his silver hammer coming down on someone’s head, Peter with his shiny new pick-axe sliced through the main power lines leading into 44 Cherry St. He was simply trying to dig a foundation for the floor on which his yurt would rest, but ended up making more of an impact than he had intended. Only the rubber insulation on his pick-axe kept him from electrocuting himself, which would have been an even bigger event.

The building was just waking up. On the ground floor Summer and Tom were out of bed and trying to wake up sufficiently so they could leave the house and drive their vehicles without crashing into something. For Summer, waking up meant drinking a pot of strong Dynamite coffee. For Tom, a large cup of Earl Grey Tea and a plate of sugar donuts did the trick. Until those items were consumed and the jolt of caffeine and sugar kicked in, Summer particularly, was nonverbal and clumsy.

Summer had filled the hot water pot and the coffee pot with water, had put an extra scoop of ground coffee into the filter, and was about to switch them both on. Tom was in the bathroom shaving in front of the small antique mirror over the sink. His face was lathered up and he was running the water to get it hot, when the lights went out and the water, on a pump from the well, trickled to a halt.

“What the what????” yelled Summer. “Need coffee. Need coffee now! Power?”

Tom interpreted her ravings and knew she would soon be berserk, so he sprang out of the bathroom, tripping over the labrador they were looking after for Summer’s son.  Tom’s head slammed into the sheetrock wall opposite the bathroom, leaving a head-shaped hole in the wall. Summer was flapping her arms and squawking. She ran over to Tom who was picking himself up off the floor, blood dripping from the wound on his forehead, mixing with the foamy shaving cream around his mouth.

When Summer saw the mess on Tom’s face, she was confused. With no coffee to sharpen her thoughts, she had trouble making sense of what she saw. She remembered something about rabid dogs…Could Tom be rabid? if so, he might be dangerous. She tightened her blue fleece bathrobe around her and raced out of the apartment. She had to get to the Dripolator. There would be help there. And coffee.

Across the hall, Chip was sleeping soundly, wrapped in the cocoon of his smelly sheets and comforter. His alarm clock was set to get him up in plenty of time to get to work at the butcher shop. Unfortunately, his alarm clock was electric with no battery back-up. So  Chip slept blissfully on. He had been late for work too often lately, however, and his boss had told him that the next time he was late, he’d be fired. Poor Chip.

A sort of popping sound of the power going out awakened Lorraine from a wonderful dream. She was in a relationship with man who was just perfect for her.  He looked kind of like Sean Connery and had a similar burr to his speech. He drove a vintage Jaguar and dressed exquisitely. In her dream he was holding her in his arms. She could feel the Italian cashmere of his sweater against her cheek and smell the expensive soap he had bathed with.

He murmured, “I love you, Lorraine. I have been searching for you my whole life. Thank God for Match.com! I have brought you this five caret diamond ring as a token of my affection. Will you do me the honor of….” And the sound of the power shutting off interrupted his speech.

Lorraine opened her eyes, hoping to see the face of her lover, but all she could see was the drooling face of her dog, whose head was on her pillow, facing her. Snoring. She must get on Match, right now! Surely he had contacted her. She shuffled over to her desk and tried to turn on the lamp. The bulb must have burned out. She clicked the on switch of her computer, and nothing happened. “Nooooo!” she howled. “This can’t be happening to me. I don’t even know his name. How will I ever track him down?”

She buried her face in her arms, sobbing and dripping snot onto her Dior peignoir.  Her heart was breaking and Suki was beside herself, licking and trying to comfort her mistress.

And all because the power was out for some reason.