The best thing that happened

The best thing that happened to me today was that I bought some light bulbs. We don’t even have any bulbs burned out at our house… I was just at the grocery store, and I was struck by the beauty of the common light bulb. I can’t get over how inexpensive they are–two for ninety-nine cents–and yet so valuable.

Outside, in the Sobey’s parking lot, I took out one of the frosted bulbs and held it up to the sun. The curved glass… the cool metal of the spiral base. I squinted at it. Electricity will excite the gases inside, providing me with a chip off the sun itself.

This bulb is going to shine forth in my kitchen with the light of universal radiance. I felt the small surge of an equation through my arms. Electricity equals power and love. I held the bulb out at arm’s length and dropped it.

The light bulb hit the pavement with a dull ping. It bounced once or twice on its base and then fell over, completely unharmed. I listened carefully to the sound as it rolled back and forth a few times in its little sixty-watt arc.

Somehow, when I was a little kid, I learned how to drop a light bulb from a height. I’ve won bets doing this. As long as you release it carefully, the base will absorb all the force of the impact, and the bulb will never be harmed.

For all their seeming fragility, light bulbs have a secret strength.