Sunday mornings follow the usual Saturday night at our house; hockey, followed by Hockey Night in Canada. Only last night was different.
The neighbours had cake.
Those crazy Catholics have so many kids and cousins and step-half brothers and illegitimate nieces there's always a cake being offered up. And, thanks to the burden of guilt, or genetics, they feel obligated to invite everyone they've known since kindergarten that can still hold a deck of cards and balance a rum and Coke. And us.
I like a good piece. Of Cake. So I threw on my Saturday night special and headed out the door. It's a rare night out for me, and I was going to fight the fat cousin for the corner piece with all the roses. Then I remembered. It was 8:40. I was supposed to be staggering around in the dark, lighting tea candles with a piece of toilet paper on the stove burner. I was supposed to be huddled in front of the fire saving the planet by roasting marshmallows. It was Earth Hour.
I was about to pull the plug, when I had a rare Christian moment, and thought of Tom. Poor bastard had a bit of a sickness going on anyway, and now this – a world-wide dimming of the lights. The South End's very own prodigal son had returned. Our Peeping Tom was back lurking through rhododendrons, looking for a cheap thrill. Everyone from perky co-eds to cellulite burdened church ladies were encouraged to turn their Hanes-for-Her backsides and draw the blinds. Hell, I've been going to bed with my make-up on for weeks now with nothing to show for it but a stained pillow case and clogged pores.
So I left the lights on and went for cake.
I figured everyone needs a beacon of hope. A light at the end of their twisted tunnel. Tom has a mother somewhere worrying if her baby has enough to eat and a warm place to sleep. In the midst of the blackest night, Tom would see the light – my bedroom light – set down his freak flag and be saved. One glimpse of my Cabernet-stained flannel jammies and the tattered housecoat with TV Guide in the pocket hanging on my bedroom door, and Tom would be reeling backwards, sprinting for the nearest bus station, and on the road to salvation.
By defying Earth Hour, I had saved Tom. Tonight by not cooking a Sunday roast, I am saving energy, and the life of a mad cow grazing somewhere under a starry sky in Alberta. Damn, I am good person.