Monday, January 19, 2009

Under a Crooked Candle

The generators hum and the neighborhood is more lively than I've heard it in days. The power went out a few hours ago across the entire island. I write this under a crooked candle's light. When we lose power, there is yet one more division between the classes. There are the tourist divers at Anthony's Key Resort. They hardly would know what happens locally, especially when the power goes out. The resort has a private generator. It was this generator which made the excited Congo line possible a few months ago at the resort when the power had been out for 2 days due to road blocks and exasperated street protests of the hike in electric rates.
Then we see the next socio-economic class, those with generators for home or business. The short-term tourists usually flock to these illumined businesses for emergency vacation dinner supplies. When the lights go out, the island is 'oscura'- obscure darkness.
Then there are those whose lifestyle is completely undisturbed. They cook at an outside fire pit and hang their clean clothes to dry in the trees. There is a family that lives like that on the beach. Their simple dwelling is flanked on either side by $100,000+ vacation homes. They hold out.

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