May 5, 2010
As I lay my exhausted head to my pillow, my mind closes in desperate peace, in grateful relief at the absence of stimuli. Just then, the current shuts off. "Road-shetting," they call it, a term I have yet to decode but which means a temporary blackout caused by overuse of power and resulting delay in service, an incident that occurs all too frequently. One may not think electricity to be so necessary, especially at night, with no need for lights. But one realizes the single electrical apparatus upon which wone wholly if unconsciously relies--the fan. As the device ceases to turn, lacking power for the unforseeable future, the temperature immediately rises. The air becomes thick and heavy, the moisture creating an unwanted insulatory layer around my body, which has decidedly begun to sweat profusely in response to this undesirable climate. I lay in a puddle of my own sweat, which, at least serves its purpose of attempting to cool me, but which soon becomes its own burden as it merely contributes to the suffocating moisture that stagnates in the airless room. Meanwhile, mosquitoes joy in the dark, humid, motionless environment, where a body lies vulnerable and ripe for blood-sucking since this nighttime guest has stupidly left her mosquito net at home. The all-out mosquito device that emits a toxin no longer poisons them for lack of electricity. With no light, I cannot even spot the thirsty beasts, and I only can defend myself by feeling their first injection and attempting to swat them dead in time to avoid their venom and resulting itch. Usually it is too late. Paranoid, every minute dermal sensation I slap my skin in anticipation and fear of bites, moving and tossing myself ceaselessly as the predators continue to prety upon me. My motion makes me hotter, as my metabolism adds to the rising heat of the room. Though my body and mind are ready for sleep, I cannot, for the necessity of constant vigilance simply to protect myself and avoid deadly overheating. To ease my discomfort I resort to a hand-held fan as I wait in the most cruel torture chamber for the power to return, an event which may take anywhere from 1 to 10 hours, and which will most certainly repeat itself in the near future, at unpredictable intervals.