Don’t Pollute and Be Freer

Erasmo Calzadilla

My socialist Orbita fan and me.

Saving electricity is very good for the health of one’s pocket and for the whole planet.  Each kilowatt of consumption implies a quantity of pollutants being released into the atmosphere, seas and obviously our lungs.

Saving electricity also helps us to be freer and less dependent on energy companies or governments that produce that invisible resource.

For all those powerful reasons, and to ready for when the “Peak Oil” production point arrives, a little while ago I started modifying my daily routine in order to consume less energy.  For example I’m trying not to spend so much time at the computer and I use water that’s almost cold for bathing.  But the main energy revolution is taking place in my bedroom.

To prove that my effort was serious, one hot morning this summer I decided to do without my old friend, that jewel of socialist technology: my Orbita-model fan.  It’s already at the point that it hardly rotates, has no casing and only goes at a single speed, but it’s remarkably reliable and won’t break, even if it occasionally gets knocked off a chair or a table.

The nights in the Electrico neighborhood are cool and full of pleasant sounds generated by eroticized bugs out looking for a little fun.  If one stays calm they can do without all their home appliances, though it’s not as easy as it sounds.

The first try

Without my dear fan, before shutting my first eye there was already a troop of mosquitos buzzing around me ready to take my blood for their reproductive shenanigans.  They didn’t even have the courtesy to wait for me to fall asleep, and on top of all that there was the risk of them giving me dengue.

The next morning I was considering dusting off our old mosquito net that for more than 20 years hasn’t been used.  My other idea was to open the door to my room so that the breeze would run the mosquitoes out while leaving a cool blanket of air around me.

I didn’t feel like putting up the net every night, so I opted for the second option: sleeping with the door open.  What I didn’t realize what that this option too would bring its complications.

The problem is that in our living room (I live with my family) is a clock that with demonic regularity never ceases to sound off its tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.  This makes it hard for me to sleep because I start thinking about time: that which is left in the lives of my folks, and that which is passing without me availing of it.  Occasionally it’s good to be frightened by the passage of time, but not right before bedtime.

Maybe it would have been better to try an exercise in concentration to forget the awkward artifact, but I opted for the simplest approach: I moved the clock into my grandmother’s room. By the law of life she has less time left than I do, but that doesn’t seem to bother her.

And the last

Though the clock issue was resolved, I was still facing another dilemma of a unique nature.  As the heat forces me to sleep naked, or at least half naked, if someone in the house was to get up before me, it’s likely they’d see my inheritance of our family jewels on display – or worse, one of those gratuitous nocturnal salutes.

At first I felt bad, but then I thought, all these old people used to wash my sticky ass and not think twice about it.

Being free and living on a healthy planet means making sacrifices and major changes, but you get your compensation in life.

Now I pay less for electricity, my conscience is a little more at ease, I enjoy the nighttime symphony of the bugs we still haven’t exterminated, plus I got over a silly shyness of nudity in front of the people who I love most in the world.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Pollute and Be Freer

  • That tick-tock-tick-tock of the clock reminded me of a play I saw last weekend: a dramitization of an Edgar Allan Poe story, “The Tell-Tale Heart!” The ever-increasing volume of the heartbeat interfered with the narrator’s sleep–with disasterous consequences! No problem with heat up here, though, as the following night–Sat.Oct.29th–we received a foot-and-a-half of snow here in Vermont! Wish I could be as ecologically conscious as you, Erasmo. My wife is always getting on my case for not recycling everything. Great story! Well written. Anton Chekov meets Ilf and Petrov!

  • Very well written and amusing! Keep up the good work – writing, economizing and saving the environment. I promise not to drop in unannounced in the evening or early morning. (Haha!)

  • Erasmo,

    I love your post, it had me laughing out loud! Wishing you much better sleep and cooler nights. 🙂

Comments are closed.