27 May 2006

Being kept in the dark

The house we are currently laying our weary heads in has a strange mode of energy saving through timer lights. However, this system seems to have absolutely no rhyme, reason or pattern. There are no motion sensors, so lights go on and off at random and you seem to have a wait an arbitrary amount of time before they go on again automatically, or find the remote to turn them on manually. In this "down time" the switch doesn't work.

So a couple of nights ago I'm sitting quietly as the sun goes down, with only the bedroom light on to accompany my aimless web-surfing. Suddenly the light goes out and the whole house is in pitch darkness. I've only been staying here three days and don't know where any switches are. I feel my way out into the black space of the living room arms out front like a B-grade sleepwalker. Light doesn't work. Stumble and trip into the kitchen, find working switch. Jump out of my skin when the kitchen light illuminates the approximately life-size blurry face of the Hawaian girl on the wooden-bead curtain against the backdoor window, who is suddenly an inch from my face. Recover. Still can't see into the hallway, no idea where remote is kept. Feel like I'm in one of those old fashioned text-only computer games. Manage to light the gas heater, and sit in semi-illumated gloom of the lounge room watching SBS world news. (Note: not enought light in the rest of the house to read a book, and the kitchen was too cold) Eventually the bedroom light does come back on and I can find my way to the remote, restoring absolute control over the lighting equipment. The story doesn't really go anywhere you know. Sorry. You can take it as a metaphor for our antipodean position crouched in the south-east corner of the globe, with a dimly illuminated view of world events, if you like. Waiting for some force beyond our control to turn the fucking light on.

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