This is one I have saved, while I thought whether to share it or not. But since I am feeling particularly lonely this night, I say, “What the heck!”
A couple of months ago, in the middle of my work-from-home day, I saw a scruffy, unshaven, grey-bearded white man through my kitchen window, who was in my driveway just after the noon hour, as I made a snack for brunch. What ensued is best described now by some notes I scribbled during the next fifty-two hours that I spent in the dark, “A B C D E F G, H” I will cut your electricity off if the payment is not to my liking. So is the feel of another monopolistic entity which could be in your town or down-town big-city. They can say your money isn’t timely and justify pulling the plug with a vicious “throat-slash” sign of a crusty power-hungry employee in a cherry-picker truck. I wouldn’t blame you if you cursed-them-out unmercifully, like I did, while on the phone and internet to all of my “friends in high places” (who couldn’t do “JACK” to help the situation), telling them that ‘NObody should even take [their] fuckin’ job!’
When I went to the Electric “service” headquarters the next day, I had to wait in a waiting-room for even more mistreatment by a robotic-like Customer dis-service “negro” who kept repeating,“I’m sorry that you feel that way, Sir…” as I tried to appeal to his sense of humanity and flexibility [not] to take what cash I had in-hand to relight my wire- fire. When I asked him if I could use his telephone to call for long-distance help, the bastard told me to “Go around the corner to the pay phone.” WHAT “pay phone”? There aren’t any of those anymore, and that just tore it, adding insult to injury by the monopoly! You know I suggested that they needed a competitor in-town so that they might be “friendlier” to the public; Oh, yes I DID! I received no “two-day warning” note slip at my door or anything!
No electric slows things down; you notice the stains in the sink or bathtub in a different sun-only light. The dust balls move from the rug in the bathroom to the parlor as you sit dejectedly upon the floor thinking about how your freezer is full of food you cannot cook (my range is electric), and will now likely spoil. I wrote a dejected deliverance note on that refrigerator the first night, fueled by a bottle of red wine I didn’t know I had under the sink, to my fiancee overseas, should I die and they find me, that I loved her so, and was so sorry I had failed, in grease marker. It is still there these many weeks later – maybe a kind-of reminder/shrine. Not wanting to open the refrigerator and let what cool air in there out, I lived on Ruffles potatoe chips, water, wine and tuna fish for a day-and-a-half, until a neighbor, having got wind of my plight brought me a whole chicken dinner, with squash and everything!
You Live for the sun, and die with the dusk-into-darkness formerly known as romantic “twilight”. The one, or however-many candle you own becomes your best friend at night if you live alone – it’s flicker is the only movement to keep you company. No telephone even! Coincidentally my celly had no minutes either. I thought your land line would work without electricity – didn’t they used to back during the Blackout in 1965? With much time to think; earlier to bed – in total darkness – while vulnerable to intruders, since your security alarm system now doesn’t work . In the end they didn’t admit their error and ripped us off for a “fee” to re-connect the power to my house! My-bad for not communicating more with them and thinking that Big Brothers would step-up in-full instead of acting like an Orwellian tease tool with just a “yard”. Have you ever had a similar surprise encounter with a utility who you pay monthly? When they came back to turn me back on (those chaps were much nicer, by-the-way0, I was apprensive about senset for several days – as in “scared of sundown” – thanks to the cold-hearted-even-in-today’s poor economy, local Electric Company.