Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Really Need You Tonight!

Dear God,

When you're trying not to nod off at the wheel, do you sing to yourself really loudly with the windows open—especially on the highway, but sometimes even if you're driving through a sleepy neighborhood?

I've stopped drinking coffee because of what it does to my stomach. So this morning on my way to work I couldn't quite keep my eyes opened. I get in early; most people weren't awake when I was driving in today. And so I was singing, and at the same time I was thinking about tonight's Public Service Board meeting, where …

… [t]he Public Service Board will take public testimony at a hearing tonight on whether the Vernon nuclear plant should be shut down. Several groups have submitted petitions supporting the plant's shutdown based on recent radioactive leaks discovered on Yankee's grounds.

I know I've said this before, Lord, but I'm worried. And I'm thinking that tonight it would be really great if some Vermont Yankee supporters could show up and tell everyone about how the folks at VY are all healthy, normal, careful people with a refurbished I Am Vermont Yankee website to prove it. This iteration of our website features a whole bunch of good-looking people who aren't even getting fired or indicted.

So, like I said, I was driving to work early. I was probably too sleepy to be at the wheel. And I opened my windows wide and I sang my favorite song from the 1980s. Really, it's our plant's theme song. Do you know "Total Eclipse of the Heart?"

Turn around, Bright Eyes. Every now and then I fall apart.

Just let that line sink in, Lord. We do at Vermont Yankee. Over the past several years that song has become our company song. When we sing it in the cafeteria it's as though, our voices merged in joy, we have become the spirit of the plant.

Anyway, I delivered that line a couple of long, loud times--maybe even more than that because it felt so damn good to emote. And then I saw lights coming on in the houses around me. So I sang even more loudly. Hey, people might have been annoyed at being awakened, but I felt like the town crier, delivering an essential message to every one of our supporters in the area. Or every two. All seventeen. Whatever.

And here it is, God. I'll sing it to you. It's beautiful, and it means so much to us. It's not just the line about falling apart that's significant. There are also lines about "making it right," "taking it to the end of the line," always "being in the dark," and "living in a powder keg and giving off sparks."

But God? Before I start singing, just let me say that I really do need you tonight, at 7pm at BUHS. Bring friends.

I'll start off plaintively, though not in the legal sense. And as I sing, please imagine the Vermont Yankee employees that you see at the refurbished I Am Vermont Yankee website holding hands, swaying to the music, and lifting their voices to the heavens.

…And I need you now tonight
And I need you more than ever
And if you only hold me tight
We'll be holding on forever
And we'll only be making it right
Cause we'll never be wrong together
We can take it to the end of the line
Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time
I don't know what to do and I'm always in the dark
We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks

Here I'm going to get really loud.

I really need you tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight
Forever's gonna start tonight

Now I'll soften, because this is the part of the song that makes all of us at VY weep.

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart.