I lost power to the ice storm that hit New England the other day. Just one of another million poor, cold souls--somehow I never felt so faceless. My girlfriend and I drove to the grocery store to find chaos. No more bread. No more bottled water. The store lost its frozen foods and its cold goods. We walked around and bought something so at least there would be some sustenance.

It was lucky I had firewood left. We lit a fire (it took some convincing but we managed) and huddled around it. It was the only light and the only warmth. No power, no gas--just me, her, the fire, and the vague certainty that we would get power back eventually, and we probably had enough food to last until then, maybe.

It was the work of a few minutes to find all of our blankets and winter clothes. I don't have a flashlight and there were only a few candles, so it was dark and there wasn't much to do--my laptop's battery was dead, she was conserving hers in case we needed it for something. We used our cell phones as illumination as we built a little stockpile in front of the fire.

We didn't say much. There wasn't much to say. We got a few phone calls and text messages, asking if we were okay. We always said yes, asked if there was news. They didn't know.

She fell asleep and I kept up, making sure the fire kept going. I was sure that was important.

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