Hell-Dunkel January 9, 2007Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Darlings (in Berlin, unless the world is linked in more intricate ways than I realised), did anyone else have their power cut yesterday? I was sitting playing on my laptop and all of a sudden its screen went dimmer and all the lights went out – you get that with power-cuts – but I didn’t think it was anything unusual and just assumed the Russian had turned the electricity off because he felt like drilling a random hole in the wall. But then I heard inquisitive and mystified fiddling with the fuse-box and then I could hear the shuffling indignation of the whole street with the smacking of lips and sighing of sighs.
And it was, initially, lovely. When I was a slip of a thing in London, we had power-cuts all the time. I can’t remember if it was anything to do with the miners’ strike, my parents not paying the bill or just England being the third world. And it was bliss. And we never had any candles. Or a torch. So I can’t remember what we used to do. Peer at each other a lot and tell stories, no doubt. But that was in the days before the candle revolution, and now surely no good home is ever to be found without at least 4000 spare candles (or at least those little tea-lights) and the Russian was soon depositing candles at vantage points around our powerless abode.
Our street was beautifully quiet. It was the closest I’ve got to the Sahara. I remembered a conversation I’d had with an American gent in Paris who’d travelled to all sorts of queer places – I think it was Honduras. Or maybe Portugal – where there was no electricity in the evening and it was all darkness and peace (apart from the blood-curdling screams of people being murdered left, right and centre. But APART from that…). I went out to enjoy the silence on the balcony but then had to hurry back in as all the neighbours had had the same idea and I was worried I might have to engage with one or more of them in conversation. “Well, what a thing!” I thought to myself. “Isn’t this lovely! Who needs electricity after all!” And then I quite fancied surfing the net, but couldn’t. And fancied a cup of tea. But couldn’t. And then I worried that the chicken and the beef in the fridge would go off if this lasted much longer. And then worried that life must have been awfully dark and unhealthy whenever it was that electricity hadn’t been invented by – 1963, I think – and was grateful for mankind’s recent resourcefulness.
“Hm, so what to do now?” I wondered, the novelty having worn off after about seven minutes. By rights I probably ought to have tried to negotiate a bit of the other with the Russian. But then my body tricked me into thinking it was the middle of the night with all the darkness and silence – admittedly our street is normally dark and silent by about 8pm anyway – so I curled up with my duvet for the night. I jolted awake when all the things whirred back into life at some point later. And sleepily turned them back off when I realised it had the cheek to be after 10.
Naturally I fished out the typewriter and have typed my Reklamation-letter ready for the first post this morning.