Thursday, September 10, 2009

Panic Switch


For three days the lights haven't worked in either bathroom or our bedroom. I have been waking up completely disoriented, like touring days of old, in unfamiliar hotel rooms. Ms. Wrecking Ball wakes me. She has taken a cord to the neighbors, for the two refrigerators. I am am the ugly American. I have two refrigerators. My biggest problem is an over abundance of food, I am now protecting like a penguin, on an egg, in winter. The city crews are here. As I open the windows, I see a guy shaking his head and another going for a shovel.

The electricians have the fuse panel torn apart, and wires reach out like hungry children. They have been in the same position for thirty six years bringing power to this house. Now they are a chaotic tangle separated and useless, because a couple lights flickered and went out. I am starting to sweat, it is subtle, not the hard working sweat of productive effort, but the slow immobile accumulation of moisture. Sticky at first, then a stale wetness. I look out the window and remember Mrs. Hillier rapping me on the hand with a ruler for putting my sweaty arm on my paper. White City Elementary had no A/C but they made fresh rolls every day. There is a second electrical contractor truck dripping in oil in my drive and a third city truck rolls up. They are all jovial and discuss the deals they got on Beretta rifles and where they are going for lunch. I am a babe in the woods, they could walk up and say I had unicorns in my lines and I would be powerless to disagree, they hold the switch, and I can't wait to get the gadgets back. I sit like a chick in the nest waiting for them to throw up in my mouth. I hear my voice, as a child, scream in my skull: "Please, I beg you, make the monkey clap the cymbals again."

My mind drifts, I am tired. I haven't slept well for days. When did I become a coddled, power sucking, misfit? How did I get here? I used to go to the beach for hours with no water, money or food, just baggies, wax and a towel. I hitch hiked to the beach, 18 miles each way, when I was thirteen. I skated for hours on one frozen mini pizza and two Pepsi's. I used to play six, forty five minute sets, with ten minute breaks, after loading in stacks of speakers and rigging lights. Now I am in a panic, because I am sweating and I can't access the Internet. I have an irrational image of shows evaporating off my DVR. How did I end up such a pampered shadow of the "tough it out" kid I once was?

The hours erode away, each explanation is more absurd than the one before. There is a hole with five guys sitting in it. A new crew arrives. They all agree that a herd of cats inserted a computer virus into government files that disintegrated the insulation on my main line, which any idiot can see is not reading right on the meter, the guy mumbling pigeon red neck is holding. I am such a dumb ass. Everyone leaves. A new inspector comes and tells me he can hook up the power but the line will definitely fail, and soon. The new fuse box is in ($1500.00) and it looks really cool. I walk in and see green and red L.E.D.'s blinking all around. Nothing, including me, knows what time it is. I go to the bedroom, flip the light switch, and nothing happens.

W.B.Z.N.

10 comments:

Ms. Moon said...

I am now exhausted. That was a great essay on frustration. I hope they get it all figured out soon.

Magnum said...

Make sure those extension cords are big, fat ones, otherwise your fridge motors (yeah, me too with the two fridges) will burn up. BIG FAT high-amp cords!
Oh, and your toilet flushes right? so why all the worry bruddah? Need me to come over, I've got an awesome set of tools.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

The new crew is here and they have been digging for ten minutes. All the cabe lines and phones lines have been severed. It's going to be a bumpy day on the trail.

BIGWORM said...

I've got at least one heavy duty cord, and she's long! You're more than welcome to it, to save the food. Again, as any good clydesdale knows, it's all about the food.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece, W.B. Before all your personal insulation frays away, let's get together at Dr Munson in the morning. Then together we'll become disenfranchised with the $10 million work plans for that trail. But, we will be riding with friends, and that always helps.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

We are all laced up on the cord tip. Thanks. I am down on the ride tomorrow.

juancho said...

My biggest problem is an over abundance of food, I am now protecting like a penguin, on an egg, in winter.

real nice image for us, thanks.

RickySilk said...

Weren't you wearing some tight little sun britches at the beach? Rainbow on the ass?

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Kooks wore beach britches. I was a scallop leg quicksilver guy. How ever I did wear Katins for a couple summers as a lifeguard.

gclark said...

It must be in the air. On Tuesday a cement truck went up my driveway and tore my electrical line off my house along with my meter and damaged my very out-dated service. We were without power for 2 days. I too realized I am addicted to those amps. It is disheartening. I did get a brand new service out of it. Now I just need to get the concrete company to pay the bill.

Mingo said...

You were on the Atlantic back it the day so it was probably cooler. There isn’t much breeze here in the armpit of the state. I wave a mean fan if you need it.