Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blackout.

A few nights ago my power went out. I came home and went to the bathroom. The lights didn't go on, I assumed it was a burnt out bulb. I proceeded to the living room to see if I had received any emails from my favorite letter writing companion, Noah. Upon turning on my computer, or at least attempting to, I found that it resisted my intentions, although it had been plugged in all day. Frustrated and still not quite wrapping my head around the circumstances, I go into my room to smoke a cigarette and read. I flip the final light switch of the night to find once again, no light emitting from the ceiling.

The power was cut off.

So I left my apartment, and headed to the dollar store down the street to buy flashlights that dont work with hundred year old corroded batteries and candles. While walking down to 99 or Less, I'm desperately trying to think of a simple way to explain to my Japanese roommate about the situation we were in. I have been subletting from a man who will go unnamed, and with a little investigation I find that he has not paid his bills in seven months.

I paid what I could, but it was too late. The power company could not reestablish my power until the following day (actually, as it turns out, two days). I arranged the candles as best I could and gave up on the waste of money flash lights and waited for Kaho to come home. My sweet little roommate, Kaho, and I have not had much to talk about. As far as I knew she didn't know English very well, and when we saw each other, we cordially asked about each other's days and silently sat in the living room together on our perspective computers. I bought some beer to make it up to her, although we had to drink it warm because we could not open the fridge until the lightening was restored to our circuits, for fear of our ice cream melting.

Kaho and I, with nothing else to do, drank the night away. She took the news well. We laughed about it in the hallway, doubled over. I'm not sure why we were laughing. I told her about the power and it seemed funny when I said it out loud, just how awful and helpless we were, and I giggled a little. She made two fists and pulled them into her body, which was a small and funny gesture. I laughed louder. My laughing made her laugh. We just stood there, holding our stomachs, laughing in the dark.

As it turns out, Kaho speaks English quite well, if she is comfortable with you. I got two beers into the woman and we chatted all night. Now I am fond of Kaho. She is small and vulnerable seeming but actually incredibly virile. After two weeks in this country, barely able to speak English, she was in an accident in a taxi that blinded her in her right eye. She flew to Japan to get surgery and immediately flew back to continue her internship. Kaho is a little soldier.

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