It’s May 22, it’s getting hot, and the power outages have begun. We knew to expect these as a new and disorganized government continues to deal with mismanaging together a country where food prices are rising, foreign reserves are dwindling, the currency is failing, tourism has diminished, and women, even those covered, are harassed regularly.
The power is out when I get home tonight, comes on for half an hour and then goes out for the rest of the evening. This makes life inconvenient, with a low computer battery, and a need to finish putting together the Algebra test I’m administering tomorrow. Oh well.
Tonight my entire block is dark, lights out everywhere, and not just in selected buildings, which is the norm. Sitting on my veranda as the daylight fades there is enough breeze to mitigate the heat. This won’t be the case when I’m here in July teaching summer school. I eat my dinner and read the book I’ve been trying to get through for some time. Now dark, I listen to the neighborhood.
On the street a young girl cries, two men argue, the general chorus of voices rise and fall. The windows are open on the apartment next door and I hear the two teenaged siblings chattering. Are they talking about me I wonder? Headlights and taillights are the only luminance on the block and of course the cars continue to honk. Maybe in tonight’s dark it is out of wanting to warn people of their presence, or maybe it’s just the typical “out of my way.” There is no call to prayer at dusk. I think about my neighbors. In another year I’ll leave this place for another. They will have to figure out how to deal with this in the long run.
From my perch I watch people arrive, only for disappointment, at the gelato shop that is the major landmark to my address, and with confused and sad children get back into their cars or walk away.