December 16, 2004

The Sounds of a Power Shortage

On/off, that's the lightbulb that suffers from low wattage and hesitates to come on or turn off

In/out, that's the croissant furtively testing the temperature of the morning tea as Dorothee tries to gobble her breakfast in the office kitchen

Clickity click click, clickety click click, that's the computer power box that feeds the hard drive when the power is out

Chak, chak, chak, those are the key from the typewriter when the secretary is filling in a carbon-copied form

Clac, clac, clac, that's high-heels of the secretary in the office

Ring ring ring, that's the impatient, insistent telephone

The power is low this morning and tentatively deciding whether to come on or not. Half the hallway lights are on, giving the office a dim, "the shinning/Stanley Kubrick"-like feel. As I eat my morning croissant, the lights flicker on and off and I play the "now you see it, now you don't!" game with my croissant. In and out, off and on, in and off, out and on.

The secretary has an urgent form to fill in and enters my office when power seems to have come back up. She clac clac clacs into my office, switches the ancient type-writer on and Chak, chak, chaks away until the power turns off. Then she clac clac clacs out again only to come back when the power seems to be on. She does this 5 times until she is finally done.

The only thing working on a regular basis is the phone and it is out for revenge this morning. Ring ring ring.

As I laboriously use pen to paper, I discover what my hand-writing looks like all over again.

Off. Collective staff grumbles. Clickity click click, clickety click click of the power boxes. I cannot see my croissant going in my tea. Ring ring ring.
On. Mad rush to the type-writer. Quick Clac, clac, clac followed by scrambling Chak, chak, chak. I can see my croissant for an instant and take a large bite of it before the power turns off again. Ring ring ring.
Off. Collective grumbles from the staff. All the lights flicker out of sink.

Sigh. Life must have been so quiet in the days before electricity.

No comments: