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Without power, there is strength in numbers
We could all benefit from some free-range music making, even if it's wicked hot out.
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By Jonas Beals
HOT IS HOT; there's no denying it. But when it's hot and you don't have electricity, that's another matter entirely.
Once your bedroom hits 90 degrees at night, you begin to seriously consider which Slurpee flavor would be most comfortable to sleep in. Those nodding in agreement understand this as the first stage of dealing with life when power goes out in a heat wave: delusion. You also know the answer is Fanta Piña Colada. Duh.
Delusion is often accompanied by unreasonable predictions for power restoration. "A few hours" is not a reasonable timeframe for any team of people to dissect three fallen oaks and rewire high-tension lines.
The second stage, as many of us now know, is silence. When the iPod batteries fade and the air conditioners stop humming and the televisions go dark, we are left with the unusual sound of nothing.
Nothing is good for a short while, but maddening in the long run. Humans need to hear some sort of organized sound to maintain their sanity. Problem is, we've become accustomed to others making those sounds for us. Without that option available, we have to figure out how to do it ourselves.
The silence stage will pass. It takes time--maybe 24 hours for some people--but the ability to talk to other people will return. In time, you will be able to sit in your living room and have a coherent, enjoyable conversation with your spouse or family members. You might, however, still be staring at the TV. It takes a little longer to regain eye contact abilities.
Before long, you will fill the "Wheel of Fortune" hole in your soul with people and conversation. You will long for more human interaction. Which brings us to stage three: escape.
This is where things get a little strange. Despite high temperatures in the low triple-digits, you decide the best place to be is outside. Like Ray Kinsella in "Field of Dreams," you might not know exactly why you're leaving the confines of your home. If you had power, you would remain safely locked inside your cocoon, but some omnipotent voice tells you to get out. So you do.
JONAS' IN-TOWN PICK: The Blues Buckets at Colonial Tavern. If you're looking for a good time, the buckets are local blues-rock stalwarts who live to fire up the party. Saturday at 7 p.m. OUT-OF-TOWN PICK: Crosby, Stills & Nash at nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville. These classic rockers may have lost a step, but they still have plenty to spare, and Stephen Stills can still shred. Thursday at 6 p.m. LISTENING TO: "Blown a Wish" by My Bloody Valentine. Critics like to cite the album "Loveless" as one of the best in rock history. I won't go that far, but it has grown on me over the years.