Listen to this story, narrated by C. S. E. Cooney:
I gather batteries for you in the same way that a farmer gathers his crops. I gather batteries for you like Mami gathered her orchids before the hurricane came. Or, I gather batteries for you, as fast as I can, in the same way that a mother gathers her children to flee the war. I gather light for you. I gather the absence of darkness. I gather my pain. I gather myself. In boxes. For you. And I cannot talk to you and I do not know what batteries you need. So I gather all the ones I can find AA, AAA, C, D…. And I wonder which ones your flashlight uses, and how many flashlights you have. I wonder if your radio works and if you can listen to the news. And if you have music. And if you have enough crosswords to replace your telenovelas. A grandmother should not be in the dark. And I wonder if you still have matches for your candles. And if the Sacred Heart of Jesus will have a candle for you. You, who has lit so many for him…. Your darkness calls me, screams at me, and I cannot see you.
How do I send you the sun in a parcel.
How do I send you light in a USPS Flat Rate Box.
“What size do you need?” they ask me at the post office.
“The biggest one,” I answer. I walk with the boxes to my car, which is full of batteries of all brands and sizes. I open the trunk which also has cans of Spam, fruit, soup…. I wanted to send you food, but you asked me for light. You, the one who never asks and always gives. Light. I put all the batteries I can fit in the box, I put in three flashlights and I also put in my faith to illuminate you. I prepare two boxes instead of one, in case one of the two is lost, so that one of the two will arrive first. And, before closing them, I see that two cans of soup and two cans of fruit will fit. And I put them in. In case you get hungry.