When I attended English courses we discussed a blackout happened few years ago in the USA. More than a third of its states was deprived of electricity and everything that depended on electric power such as water supply, lighting, conditioning and etc. We discussed a story, I don’t remember whose, about reaction of someone Mr Bufkin when he found his TV set dead.
And I wrote this story on his behalf.
Blackout (Mr. Bufkins’ hidden thoughts)
Oops! Help! The screen of my TV set has turned black! Something’s wrong! No lamp can be switched on, the fridge isn’t buzzing, and the conditioner doesn’t work either.
It seems the Dooms day is coming! Stop! Don’t be nervous! Look around!
The sun is shining, curtains are swaying in the breeze, birds are singing. Oh, birds! When was the last time I heard them chattering? Oh, yeah! It was my school-leaving party.
Mary and I hid in bushes in school yard, kissed and listened to
a nightingale’s song. What a wonderful night it was!
Put away these sweet memories! A catastrophe is coming! Nothing can be compared to it! Even… And what is it there outside my window?
Yeah! It’s the lawn with soft bright-green grass we made with… with… I can’t remember who it was because it was very long ago. We had a TV set with vacuum tubes then.
It must have weighed a ton! Look, someone takes care of the lawn! The grass is trimmed, leaves are removed, and the path is powdered with sand.
I’d like to know who has done all this. It is so curious!
My poor TV set! Its screen is still black and it looks like a dead box now. It seems I’m dying too! Life is senseless without a television! And what is it?
Oh, look, it’s my lovely armchair! It’s so familiar in touch and so unfamiliar on seeing. Here the hollow made by my fanny is and here beer spots I made watching soccer are.
My dear armchair! I’ve not noticed before that you are pale brown.
Hush! Someone is stepping behind me. Who could it be?
Let me see. I remember! I’ve got a family – my wife and two or three children.
Oh, no, three children, exactly! How long ago did I marry? Let me count. It happened after I graduated from the University. I met Julia then and fell in love with her madly.
We made dates every evening, sat in a coffee bar. She liked cakes and I wondered always that she could eat just a dozen. But she looked so sweet!
At last we married. It happened in autumn. Nineteen or twenty years ago?
Yeah, surely twenty! On October 4th or 14th? It was very cold so it was on 14th most likely. But what has happened to my brain?
Would I be awoken in a dead night and asked about scores of last fifty soccer games, no doubt I could answer. But dates such as birthdays or anniversaries can’t find the smallest room inside my head. I always forget them.
Someone’s warm palms are put on my shoulders. I turn my head and, oh, god, see my Julia! She looks as attractive as many years ago. I have always thought that plates with supper and cups of tea and coffee appear on my table themselves and empty beer bottles go to trash bin by magic. Now I understand that it has been you, my loving and caring wife.
I see her smiling face, smiles on the faces of my daughter and son, who are standing on the threshold of my room. It looks like we meet having been parted for very long time. We tell each other news.
My younger children attend high school classes. The eldest daughter has got married, and she and her husband are having a tour over west states. She plays the guitar and he sings.
I could never imagine that my Anny would play the guitar! World has changed enormously! I think changes will be greater when my grandchildren see the sunlight.
The god dammed “worldwide window”! “The eye into the Universe”! Here is my family, we kiss, we laugh, and we embrace each other. I’m so happy.
It looks like a sun beam has slid into our house. So much time has been lost, so many feelings have been spared in vain! I’m reflecting over TV watching, and all of a sudden I understand that I have been losing my people.
It’s enough! I will throw out the TV set into a dustbin, I will spend more time with my children, I will surely say “I love you” to my Julia!
Stop! What is it that’s shimmering inside my room? Who’s talking there? Why the TV set is switched on to this program?
The world cup game is transmitting over the fourth program! Where is my remote control? One, two, three, four.
Here it is! The game has begun. And what’s the score? Zero-zero.
Who’s in attack? My team is attacking! Go, go, go! Children, stop talking!
Stop pushing me! Take your hands off me! Leave me alone!
Let me watch the game! Hey you, forward! Kick the ball!
Bingo! Goal!!! Goal!!!