As one of my part-time jobs, I serve as a security guard. Knocking against my thigh with each step, my heavy duty flashlight hangs from my utility belt. No batarangs, smoke bombs, or other superhero gadgets dangle beside it, but sometimes it really shines, so-to-speak.
More than a week ago I returned home after my shift while a large portion of the west side of Madera had no electricity, doubtlessly due to a late summer thunderstorm. My oversized cylindrical companion suddenly held an indispensable and rare power.
Though I saw neighbors relying on cigarettes and cell phones to see by, it appeared no one had a simple flashlight at hand that evening. Yet what a difference it made when trying to unload groceries and navigate inside and out.
Disappointment mixed with relief when the alternating current surged anew, a seldom noticed hum met ears, and blocks of the city lit up as usual in a moment. My flashlight, no longer the brightest luminary, seemed to dim and my nascent Internet withdrawal symptoms disappeared...