Hi. My name is Steve. And I’m an addict.
An electronic addict -- that is.
I have seen studies that show we moderns can get as much thrill out of hearing a “you’ve got email notice” as they do from cocaine and sex. I am rather skeptical of this type of study. There is usually something untoward going on with my tax dollars. But the scientists may be on to something here.
At least two days before the hurricane was predicted to set its landing gear in Melaque, CFE (the power company) turned off our electricity. No lights. No computer. No internet.
I was stuck in the dark with the bit of power my batteries would provide to my Kindle, mobile telephone, and flashlight.
It was an odd feeling. As if I had been cut from the world -- because I could not get immediate electronic gratification.
I have been here before. In the early 1970s I lived in Greece. The only communication I had with family and friends was the mail. (It may be one reason I still get excited just walking into a post office.) But the mail was adequate – even when it took a week or two to receive a letter or package.
But we now live in a far more immediate world. Even though I knew the power was going to go out, I felt a chill when suddenly everything went dark and still. Almost as if I had died. And then the power came back on. Went off. Back on. And then off. Finally off.
What was once a bright little living womb was now black. I read a brief chapter on my Kindle. Rationing out the battery for -- I had no idea how long.
The refrigerator became the Especially Holy Place -- to be entered only once a day. And because there was no power to pump water to the roof, the toilet played its part as a much-used reservoir and the shower a desert.
I assumed the worst. That power would be out for at least a week.
I was wrong. As you already know. In the early evening (less than 20 hours later), the lamp I had left turned on to herald our reentry into the modern world came on.
And the refrigerator. And the water pump. And my blessed computer and its priest the internet.
I have had some pleasant experiences in my life (in fact, my life has been almost nothing but pleasant experiences). But hearing the whir of electric motors is near the top of my list.
I am an addict.
And the CFE workers are my suppliers.
At least, I have made it to the first step.