SIXTY LIGHT BULBS

It’s not over. There is the variant. Maybe more variants. Masks or not? Covid is still the top headline. It haunts us all.

I managed to get by during the past year of isolation and worry. However, I had various coping mechanisms that I am not proud of. Amazon became a lifeline, and I ordered everything on Amazon.

It made me feel secure to have packages arriving every day. I couldn’t go out, but for sure, I could still acquire things. I wasn’t helpless. Getting things that shored up the household made me feel safe, comfortable and not desperate. No toilet paper shortages for us, damn it! I didn’t order things that weren’t useful. Everybody needs stuff like toothpaste and toilet paper. I read about how vulnerable the supply chain was, and so I also ordered things like six packs of shampoo, giant size containers of lotion, and some extra rolls of paper towels.

I did suffer a slight lapse. The pundits on the news one day discussed how shortages could continue for months–maybe more than a year. The economy was fragile, manufacturing in places was shut down, and if your washing machine or other major appliance broke, good luck getting a replacement.

I must have been getting dark when I watched this. I reached over to switch on the lamp beside me and suddenly panicked. What if our light bulbs burned out and we couldn’t get new ones, because the supply chain shortages included light bulbs? Would we have to sit around in the dark, suffering pandemic isolation in blackness? Would we have to resort to lighting candles and living like they did during all those shows like Poldark, with just a ring of faint light surrounding the diminishing tapers? Of course, I use Poldark as an example, because Aidan Turner…

I digressed there for a second, because Aidan Turner. Back to the supply chain. The threat is real! Shortages happened. They are still happening, for heaven’s sake! So I did what any self-respecting panic-stricken isolator would do: I ordered a case of sixty light bulbs. They arrived promptly two days later, all sixty of them, packaged nicely in a huge cardboard box marked SIXTY ONE HUNDRED WATT LIGHT BULBS. This was in mid-April of 2020, in the height of the lockdowns in the US. I patted myself on the back, knowing full well that there would be people fervently wishing they had thought to order some extra light bulbs. Ha!

It is now almost the end of July, 2021. The box of light bulbs sits, unopened, in the rear of the laundry room. I have used up all the paper towels I ordered, and so the light bulb carton is no longer obscured. My husband hasn’t noticed it. Thank goodness. But he will, sooner or later, and this does not bode well for me, since he has remarked on the size of my Amazon bills.

Luckily, I live in an apartment building, where it is easy to be a Good Samaritan. The next time my husband spends the day golfing, I plan to distribute free light bulbs to fifty (I have to keep some bulbs; I am not completely nuts) lucky neighbors, spreading happiness and light among them.

“The sun is gone, but I have a light.” Curt Cobain

That says it all, doesn’t it?

 

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