By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – It’s the weekend when I come home and find there’s electricity , although you can never be sure. Blackouts come like a thief in the night, when you least expect it.
In fact, after 10 PM, just as I was about to lie down and get some sleep, it made its badly-timed entrance. Everything went dark. I try to fall asleep using every technique I’d read God knows where.
Lastly, I try a small cup of water with sugar, against my mind’s will. Word has it this does the trick just before sleeping. As I drink it, I remember my time at pre-university and in military service when water with sugar – which we used to call milordo – had become a refreshment fit for the Gods in our eyes, the Coca Cola of our poverty. It must be the same now for lots of people.
However, nothing works, and the heat is relentless. I don’t have a thermometer to measure the room temperature, but it feels like a humid 30 degrees Celsius. Beads of sweat cover my body and I decide to shower. Luckily, I have water.
There are no words for the relief I felt. I enjoy the sensation of water pouring down over my skin and I want to stay like that, with my eyes closed until the water tank runs dry. I don’t know how many minutes I stand under the shower.
I come out of the bathroom and head to the small terrace to dry with the breeze, but not a single leaf is moving. I go back to the hot bed a while later and I feel hot again. Outside, I hear voices from the neighborhors who can’t sleep in the middle of a blackout, and also a crying baby.
I open the shutters in vain. It seems I only make things worse. Mosquitoes make their presence known with buzzing that is annoying, as well as their bites. At this time, my body is a besieged boat that is navigating a puddle of sweat.
This time I have no choice but to get up, go out the front door and join my neighbors who are waiting. It feels like the hottest night of the year. The electricity comes back a while later, followed by cheers.
My skin is a sticky mess. I have another shower, I barely dry myself, I come out of the bathroom, look at the clock that marks 3 AM, I put on the fan, and I let myself fall exhausted onto the sweaty sheets but I’m not sleepy anymore, I’m full of repressed rage.
Sometimes, I’m an apathetic volcano on the verge of erupting.