Dixie Peach: Making Light

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Making Light

Our ability to bear it any longer has been sorely tested in the past few days.

About six weeks ago we bought a new floor lamp for the living room. We'd been using one for years that takes a halogen bulb and we wanted to switch over to a lamp that uses those energy saving bulbs. Colder light but I like the idea of using 55 watts to get 250 watts worth of light. But for the past few weeks the light seemed to be getting dimmer. At first I thought it was because I wasn't turning the dimmer up all the way but even with it turned all the way up the light seemed to not be as bright as it was before.

B suggested that I pop out the bulb and pop it back in to see if it would help but I had gotten sort of freaked out when I first put the bulb in. It snaps into place and it was not easy to get it snapped in - a lot of pushing and me worrying that I'd break something. I had visions of the bulb shattering like a florescent bulb and making that horrific exploding noise as it did so. I tried to pull the bulb back out but getting it yanked out was turning out to be much more difficult than snapping it in and after a few minutes I was nearly in tears and whimpering, "Why do I have to do all the crappy jobs? Why do I have to snap out bulbs and get rid of spiders and open champagne bottles? Why do I have to be the one who clears the snow off the car and go into the creepy-ass basement? Why? Why?!".

I threw in the towel and suggested that perhaps I'd get Gerd to do it. Maybe even get a new bulb and have him switch them out. And while I'm on the subject, why in the hell am I misspelling bulb each time I type the word? Bulp, bulm, bump, bumb - each attempt to type bulb takes me two tries! Even then I just typed bulp!

We sat here a little longer - the lamp seeming to be dimmer than it had been an hour before and I finally said "I can't stand it anymore! I can't see shit around here! There's more light in a funeral home! We'd do better with candles lit than with what this piece-o-crap is giving out!". We do have an overhead lamp but it's one of those high intensity light jobs so it's a bit like living in a jewelry store. My diamond jewelry looks great but the lamps burn my scalp. Of course that opened me up to having to go into the creepy-ass basement to get the old floor lamp I'd put into storage down there.

In reality our basement is very tidy. The walls are brick and painted white so it looks quite clean. There is rat bait down in the corners but I've never seen any rodents down there. I've never even seen a spider. However it's a maze of little hallways and to get to my storage area I have to go to the very back corner. Making my way to my storage area makes me feel a bit like Danny Torrance at the Overlook. I'm going to make a turn and run into slaughtered twins.

Scooting down quickly to my storage area was easy. Scooting out quickly was impossible because the lamp I was fetching has a weighted base and the thing must weigh a good fifteen pounds and it's about six feet tall. The basement's ceiling is low with pipes for the steam heating criss-crossing it. I was inching along trying to keep the base from bumping the ground while trying not to whack the glass globe on one of the pipes and at the same time trying not to tip the lamp over so far that the dead, dried moths that had accumulated in the open globe didn't dump out into my hair. Oh hush. So I didn't vacuum out the lamp's globe before storing it. So what? I didn't think I'd be using it again. Certainly not with six weeks of its initial storage.

By the time I made it back into my apartment I was nearly hysterical, what with the creepy-ass basement, hefting that heavy lamp up the stairs, dodging the steam pipes (which scare me anyway - I always picture them bursting open and scalding me as I walk under them) and avoiding my hair being coated in dried moth carcassas. I got the crummy new lamp moved out of the way and the old one put into its place and then...

"Ahhhhh! That's much, much better. Light! You're amazing! You made light!". To B I had performed a near miracle. "I couldn't stand that other light anymore. It was making me so depressed!"

"You mean you're not depressed because you're a quadriplegic but you were depressed that the lamp was so dim?"

"Yes! That's it! Now I'm much happier."

And then to thank me for saving him from another evening of depression he ordered Chinese food for dinner. That alone was worth the trip to the creepy-ass basement.


Blogger Tiffany said...

I hate scary places. I'm afraid in my own house when I'm alone!

Thank goodness B bought you dinner.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Significant Snail said...

Basements do have a certain creep factor about them...

mmmm... Chinese!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

What a beautifully written story! I love that you make light for B! As far as the creepy-ass basement, just sing some of those favorite songs of yours! :-)


1:29 AM  
Blogger Rositta said...

The energy saving bulbs generally don't work with dimmers and have also been linked to health problems such as skin cancer and joint problems. If you happen to break one you almost need to call the hazmat team in to clean up the mercury. I've taken all mine out from lamps close to where I sit and feel better, plus I can actually knit again...ciao

1:15 AM  

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