Oho la Luz

Oho- it goes. Oho la luz– “the lights went out”

August is warmer. August is drier. August has been windier, causing my power lines to shake in the breeze. Every time a breeze rolls in, my lights flicker, my phone buzzes constantly as it charges: charging, not charging, charging again. Sometimes, it doesn’t go back to charging, but I hear Cumbia or Polka or Paraguayan Harp playing from the old radio in my family’s house, so I know Óga Ita hasn’t entirely lost power. Just me. Just my house. The wind has yet again pushed a little too strongly against the illegal power connection that my host brother originally made to connect my house to the main line, therefore loosening it. So I grab my broom. I trek across the grazing pasture to the road. I put the broom in my teeth and start climbing the electrical pole, using old knobs from long-gone branches as hand and foot holds. Pulling the broom from my clenched jaw as I reach the top, I whack the electrical wire a couple times to tighten the connection and then carefully set the wire on top of a small nob on the top of the pole. That’s the sweet spot. I turn to look at my house and see that my light is steady, no longer flickering. I chuck my broom and climb down again, knowing I’ll probably be back in a few hours if the wind keeps up; fifteen minutes if it gets stronger.

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