There is no electricity. The only light is the fading daylight coming in from my bedroom window. It tells a story of zero current, as the usual regimen of lights is absent. Strange how darkness brings silence, it’s as if the darkness absconded with the voices, the usual exuberance for life that speaks of civilization. My cell reads 8:53 pm. The stillness is like the wee hours of the morning punctuated every once in a while with a voice that crackles like thunder.
Hmmmmm, whoa what a difference. In Trinidad the lack of current did little to silence the people, in fact it was the opposite, neighbours can be heard checking on each other or seen carrying extra candles, flashlights (torchlight) in case their neighbour is out or need extra. Darkness did little to curb the zest to lime (hang out), people just walked with their torchlights, battery operated radios, boom boxes, played music, danced and continued on without breaking a stride. Here, silence, no sound of children laughter, neighbours checking in with each other, no battery operated radio blaring, nothing. Nothing but the occasional car, bus, truck passing by.
It’s darker now and the night has become more still as the daylight move swiftly out. My pen now lights up my whole page as I write. I am bit hungry but I am unable to cook. The stove is electric, so is the toaster oven, toaster and microwave. I ate at 3 O’clock today; it is now 9:05 pm. As I sit here writing and talking with you I am mentally going through my cupboards for anything ready to eat—I have tuna, corn beef and homemade bread. I am now visualizing the contents of my refrigerator and I am seeing the bag of oranges and pears and opt to go with fruit instead of the tuna and bread I was considering. hmmmm, the quiet is kinda nice yet it makes me miss home, quite an oxymoron of emotions I’d say.
Smiling, I am thinking of home (Trinidad) and this lack of electricity. Its funny you know, when you are living outside of the Western world you never think things like this happen here. Why you may wonder, simple really, because your gaze is in the ideal. Everything that is advertised about Western society is idyllic, a utopia so to speak, a place free of hardships, joblessness, homelessness, where dreams come through and the common experience of no electricity just doesn’t occur. You designate these people “lucky” living free of hardship and worries. You imagine everyone living like Jay Z, Oprah & Beyonce and joblessness and homelessness is only for people in your homeland. Weird right? You never envision that it is the same and if anyone tries to tell you differently you resist hearing the truth and instead you believe that they want to prevent you from having a good life like they are having especially if your dream is to migrate. The truth is it all exists here as it exists everywhere else, the rich, the poor, the homeless, the jobless, the hopeless, and the hopeful.
Its now 9:15 pm and the daylight is completely gone, even my pen with light is inadequate to continue much longer. The light from my cell phone is almost blinding as my eyes have adjusted to the fading light. I will have to pause in a moment to light a tea light. It is small but efficient. I see no need to light a large candle or the lamp since in a few hours I will be in bed. Oh! The light just came back on! Yeah! Well off I go to capitalize on this light to have an orange and steam a piece of fish before the electricity decide to pull another Hodenee .
Thanks for waiting through the darkness with me. I enjoyed your company. Hope I didn’t talk your head off. I guess the lack of electricity has the opposite effect on me, perhaps because am Caribbean? In any event thanks again you were a good listener. I hope I can return the favour in the future.
Take care, smooches…