At around about eleven o'clock last night the lights all died, the ever present unnoticed electrical hum of everything faded, fire and burglar alarms began calling out in unsynchronised discord. At the same exact moment a small spring-loaded book-light on a table in the bedroom reached out its little arm to me spontaneously creating a little spot of light in the darkness about two feet below my face. A sudden power cut is surprise enough but when it is unexpectedly accompanied by a mysterious prick of light just below ones face, the confusion is next-to overloading. At the time, for a few fleeting moments, the two were inexorably connected: either one was the cause of the other, or they were both caused by or predictions of a terrific and imminent event.
I soon came to my senses and looked out of the window to see that the street lights were dead on this side of the road, but the other side was unaffected, and those lucky electric-powered buggers yonder were looking out of their illuminated living rooms to see what the racket was about. In no time we had little saucers of tea lights littered about the place, my flat mate was wandering about the darkness with a hand cranked dynamo torch, and I was reading my Mutants book by the light of the headlamp I climbed Fuji with.
Soon two fire engines had pulled up outside the house and fully equipped hunks were running about thinking where's the fire, where's the fire. Finding none, and only misfiring fire alarms and darkened windows, they struggled with what to do. After some discussion and deliberation they decided the best thing to do was to turn off the spinning blue fire engine lights, and then just hang about a bit kicking up their heels. I felt like letting them blow out the tea lights just to give them something firemanny to do. They looked so disappointed.
We realised there was no hot water, and I repeatedly tried to switch on the light every time I entered a room. It was all very exciting. Our first night back in the flat after spending new year with family; I'm glad we made it back in time. I tried to turn the laptop on but it wasn't charged. I tried to put the kettle on but it wasn't feeling up to it. I tried to run some hot water but it didn't feel like showing up. Then at midnight exactly, with a wire of restarting electrical background hum, the lights came back on, things clicked and shuffled and modern life came back. I shaved in the warm water of modernity, and bathed in the bright light of Western science and the workmanship of electricity repairmen.