The track lighting in our laundry room went out. Three bulbs. At the same time.
I flicked the wall switch off and on. Nothing.
Checked the circuit box. Nothing.
Opened up the wall panel to check for loose wiring. Nothing.
There were tons of people on the Internet with the same problem. I saw all the videos.
Could be anything. It’s an old house. Some wire probably died in the wall. We probably should change the wiring. Before there’s a fire. A guy in the videos had that happen. Scorched his kitchen
I went down to the basement and flicked off the circuit breaker. Just to be safe.
This is when we started living in the dark. We used the bathroom light to do our laundry. Lived this way for a year.
I was putting off the inevitable.
Finally, tired of tripping over fallen broom handles in the dark, I called in an expert. I called an electrician. Go on, I said. Tell me the bad news.
Jiggle the fixture, he said. (This, without seeing anything. We were on the phone.)
Jiggle the fixture?
Yes, he said. The fixture you have is from the seventies. The bulbs get hot and burn out. If you look closely, you’ll see the housing is probably melted and bent.
I did. It was.
One of the bulbs flickered.
See, he said. You’ve got power. Now go buy yourself some bulbs.
I’d been living in the dark for a year.
I laughed. A year in the dark.
All because I took limited information and drew my own conclusions, let my mind work on the problem without having the credentials to do so. Noodled my way into a catastrophe. Like a pre-schooler doing a dot-to-dot. It ain’t a pretty picture.
My mind created real problems by imagining fake ones.
The truth is, we were never in danger of a fire.
Just the fallen broom handles.