Letters to my Sister in Japan — Day 74

Dear Sister,

Not sure if I’m late with this one because it’s 4am in the morning over here.

“I’ve been a bad boy”

The main reason why I think I’ve been lagging it with this letter and the last one is because writing stories is hard. As you may recall, I’ve committed myself to writing longer letters and at least describing something with them. Coming up with things to write about is tough. Blocking out time to actually write them out consistently is tougher.

It’s an excuse, I know, but since I pulled myself from bed to write this out, I’m writing something so I don’t feel absolutely horrible.


Today (Yesterday) was actually a little weird. There was an explosion and fire at the Northridge Power Plant, and power went out in the whole valley because of it. The heat was a little difficult to deal with because we’re in 100+ degree weather, but I think I would have managed if the blackout lasted longer than an a couple hours.

The people of the valley though? Would they manage? I don’t quite know.

My friends were hanging out with me here at the apartment, and once the power went out, we thought it’d be a good idea to explore the neighborhood and get some food. It was not a good idea.

The neighborhood was covered in darkness and gave me an eerie vibe. Everything was “powered-down” yet people were leaving their homes to gossip with their neighbors or go for an evening stroll. Without street lights, we could only see their shadows. The only area that was still well lit was a bike path, a few blocks away from my apartment, that had solar-powered light-posts. The whole experience was a “huh” moment that truly made me realize how dependent our society is on electricity.

We ended up abandoning our plan for driving somewhere to get food. From West Hills to Van Nuys, the whole valley was in gridlock. Traffic lights were out and the major intersections were crowded with drivers trying to go to either the 101 or the 118. We spent a little more than 30 to 45 minutes driving 2 miles away from my apartment. We thought we could go somewhere, anywhere, but it seemed everyone had the same idea.

Our back-up plan was a mexican food truck near my apartment. It had a neon sign announcing its deals, and there was a line of hungry folks waiting for their tacos and burritos. We ordered our food rather quickly, but the overall wait was killer. A drunk, homeless man approached us and kept threatening my friends simply because they are white and they were in a non-white neighborhood. Nothing happened, but truthfully, I was a little scared. Though, because of the blackout, I think my fight-or-flight response was primed ever since we left the apartment.

Within a few minutes of ordering our food, the whole city instantly came on, and people “ooh’d” and “aah’d” with relief. I was relieved too, because I would be able to eat my food in an air-conditioned room with the lights on. Nachos and carne asada tastes worst in the dark.

Either way, that’s what happened tonight. I guess that was a story in a way, huh?

Love,

Your Little Costello