Power Dynamics

This is my 21st move. I am 31 years old, and my first move occurred when I was 10. They have not been regular moves, one a year, every year. They have come in stuttering starts and halts, two or three a year in college when my dorm space was my only residence, a few before and after into odd spots, filling the in-betweens, until I settled in with a boyfriend in a small town that slowly strangled me.

This week, I am uncurling into a small studio in a city I love, sorting through objects which may or may not have meaning to me. The books are the most burdensome. They are the hardest to let go of, even the ones I don’t need.

I fell in love with this little place: the overgrown garden with its clothing-optional pool where I do yoga every morning, my little kitchenette where I cook big and save leftovers for the week. They are things I love, even though I do not yet have internet of my own. And when I signed? I was careful. I tested the water. I tested the lights.

But a week in, the main light overhead began to flicker. The power company came out late one evening and shut off electricity to the house. After they switched it back on? The fridge rumbled oddly, and the AC labored when the lights were on. This is without anything of my own being plugged in. And I haven’t much to plug in. Just a phone to charge, a grinder for my coffee, and my computer: a little laptop.

The peculiarity of my situation came clear today: I plugged a strand of lights into a surge protector, and the the strip popped in my hand, threw off sparks, and filled the air with smoke and ozone.

I think this is something to laugh about. On move 22.

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