One given Monday evening, with the power out

It’s a little past eight when I first glimpse at the reinforced concrete electricity pole split right in the middle, its upper half hanging by twisted metal rods and resting against the wall over the sidewalk. A medium-sized crane mounted atop a truck is trying to lift it up, but to no avail. Public utility servants work with special saws and axes so as to cut the upper half free, and also vainly attempt to convince the deranged homeless man sleeping by the bus station to get the hell away from there. The super tells me a fire engine lost its brakes in the middle of the afternoon and made the call as to smash the truck against the pole instead of packing the momentum of an asteroid as he went down the slope towards the park.
I’m half-laughing at the sight of the deranged old man not wanting to leave his filthy blanket behind as he stumbles away from the crash scene, but then this slim, downright gorgeous blonde who must be no more than 19 but does wear a wedding band approached the super and I at the front gate and inquires about the accident. I figure she must live in the building, too, though I’ve never seen her before.
I call A**** from my cell phone expecting to be granted asylum and a hot shower, since the public utility men tell me power’s coming back well after midnight. A**** sort of b*tches about as usual, though, and the invitation never materializes.
Not wanting to crawl eleven stories up to my apartment through the darkened stairway, I am left all alone to roam the city.

In the oddest of ways it’s the kind of night you actually dream about when you’re a kid because the power is out at your place yet the backpack you’re carrying feels like it weighs half a ton, but that’s only due to the pile-of-bricks-thick pile of books and comics inside.
There’s a McDonald’s just a few blocks away, see, with the promise of the same haven denied by my better half, save for the shower. It’s the same McDonald’s in which I bought this girl M**** a crispy chicken after this test we’d both taken in late ’97 when applying for some fancy College nearby (which we failed to pass). It’s the same McDonald’s in which I met a couple of girls from College in mid ‘99 while reading a historical book about pirates, and they asked me why I had missed the Statistics exam earlier that day (I told them I had no idea what they were talking about, which was the truth). It’s also the same McDonald’s in which my father gave me hell once in ’91 when he discovered I had been showing my dirty magazines to his friend’s daughters and I told him No even though he knew Yes I had (well they’d asked for it).
Earlier tonight, before getting home, I stopped by the bookstore for some comics and books and by this newsstand I usually buy my p*rn and dirty magazines at, because the vendor always throws in some free chocolate with the DVDs. Just so that you know.

I sit down with my fries and my orange juice and my pepperoni Shrek Menu burger at a table wedged between a mirrored column and the wall, under a spotlight good for reading, and produce a ton of reading material tucked in plastic bags within my backpack.
I stay there up until past ten, after Iron Man has taken down Captain America and brought the Registration Act upon all Marvel Comics superheroes, and I’ve wolfed my banana pie and caramel sundae. Once I get home they’ve already taken the old, broken pole out of its hole in the sidewalk and put a new pole in. They are re-connecting the wires.
The doorman offers me a candle since the emergency lighting has just gone out in the stairway. I say thanks and go for the light in my cell phone instead. Best part of the evening is, I’m going up those steps two-by-two and my knees don’t hurt a bit.
It’s too freaking cold for a cold bath but I curse A**** and plunge beneath the shower anyway. I’m singing some lost song from some New Wave one-hit-wonder as I jump up and down then praying for the towel. Sleep, after that, is sheer heaven despite all the noise by the street with the public utility trucks and whatnots.
The next morning the doorman informs me it’s actually the third time that pole’s been taken down by a truck or a bus in less than a year.