Postie Perspectives: When the lights go OUt

Kaylee Kean

7 a.m. My alarm goes off. It’s a theme from How To Train Your Dragon – called “Test Drive”, if you really want to know – and it usually works in getting me on my feet. Not today, however.

I don’t remember actually doing it, but at some point during that alarm I rolled around and promptly went back to sleep. I either hit snooze a ridiculous amount of times or completely ignored it – who knows. I’m not entirely convinced you, the reader, care.

8:30 a.m. I finally shut the alarm off and stretch for all I’m worth, rolling around to face the day. I can hear it storming outside, and the rain registers in the back of my mind with that feeling of comfortable unrest I always get with storms. It’s a weird day, I can already tell.

I really can’t tell you the step-by-step process of how I moved from the bed to the shower to the car, but I did. Somehow I made it through the door with wet hair, my laptop and a day-old chocolate chip muffin in my hand (the muffin was not that good, in case you were wondering).

I only recently moved into some apartments right by Oakland University, so the drive to my workplace was painless. I’m used to 40 to 60-minute drives to get anywhere, so I really could care less how the day turns out. Things going wrong? I can just go home!

It’s a great thing I have that attitude, because the power is out when I arrive at the Oakland Center.

At first I wonder if some sort of construction is going on, but the farther I walk and the quieter it is I realize all is not right. It’s only when I reach the basement of the OC that I have the moment of clarity – ah, the power must be out due to the storm.

Student activities and organizations pick up their mail from the Center for Student Activities, and that’s where I stop by first. Lovely Jean Ann Miller and company are sitting around the entrance table having a hushed discussion, and confirm that there is indeed an outage. Aside from them, there are not too many bodies to be found.

In addition to the electronic student card access, I have a key, so I can access my office despite the outage. Armed with my iPhone flashlight, I prop open the entry door with a chair and point my phone towards the shadowy depths of what once had been The Oakland Post newsroom.

It sure is dark in there.

We don’t have windows, we don’t have backup lights, we don’t have anything in the way of light or hope. Staring into that hallway with no apparent end made me feel like I was staring into the pitch-black mouth of an unnamed beast.

Now, before we continue, you should know that I am one of the bravest people I know. I watched the first few episodes of “The Walking Dead” all alone in my basement and only cried, like, four times. So of course I can handle a disturbingly dark, gaping hole that feels like it could suck my soul in if I took a single step towards it. 

I do what any brave person would do.

“Nope!” I say. “Nope, nope, nope!”

I nope myself right back out of there and up the stairs to the main level of the OC, deciding that it will be a better idea to get things done where I can actually see my work. Just being sensible.

So here I am, typing furiously away in a naturally lit corner of the OC as if I was actually hard at work.

This counts, right?

The OC is a little more active now – students and staff flow in and out of the hallway, wandering aimlessly. The Charters employees have convened next to the food court, discussing and planning like generals anticipating the next war. The War of Shadows.

“You still get internet over there?”

A young man has seen me typing, and latches on to me with a fervor born of desperation. I quickly shake my head and provide an emphatic “No!” before a swarm can begin.

“This would explain why I have been calling since 9:18 and haven’t been able to get ahold of anybody,” says one wise lady.

“Yeah I don’t really know what to do, I’m kind of procrastinating,” says another student to his companion.

“It’s been an hour and I’m going home now,” says The Oakland Post Managing Editor, who had really gotten nothing done in her time at Oakland.

It’s okay, though, because I only live four minutes away now. I’m going to write, play music and stuff my face with ice cream. And maybe put this where people can see it.