Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Darkness falls on Carson

The Civic Plaza in Carson, California, comprises four large buildings: the Carson City Hall, which is off to the lower left, mostly out of the picture; the Carson Civic Center, the very large building in the middle; 1 Civic Plaza Drive, the office building at upper right, where my client is lodged; and the Doubletree Carson Hotel, at lower right); and a sea of parking. At night, everything is bathed in light, an arc-yellow light as bright as day. In the hotel you have to draw the heavy curtains as tightly as you can; otherwise your room is brightly lit.

Tuesday morning, just after midnight I awoke to darkness. The clock-radio wasn’t as bright as I remembered it; I turned it, and found it was off. I tried the light: nothing. There was no power. There was no bright yellow stripe by the curtains. I opened them: in the distance the Civic Center’s lamps were light. But the sea (of parking) was dark.

I used my Mag-lite to do what I needed to do. And then I slept. The unusual, and welcome, dark was gone when I awoke before dawn. When I went out for coffee, the night clerk didn’t know what had happened.


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