The fuse box was in the garage. The back corner, past the bikes and the shoes your wife wore at her old job. The box looked to you as impenetrable open as closed – a solid steel door hiding a tangle of incomprehension. Your wife always talked about upgrading to breakers but you felt a trip to London was more important. Certainly it was more fun. But when you tried to run the space heater and the toaster, you began to rethink things.
London had some of the best food you’d ever eaten. Indian, Thai, Italian. Mince and mulled wine. Tea and biscuits each afternoon. You remember stumbling half-drunk into a place around Kensington, a sit-down place with tablecloths strangely illuminated in white fluorescence, and ordering the Chicken Kiev. When it arrived, you cut it in half and found a torrent of butter cascading from its interior to the recesses of the bone plate. It was one of the greatest moments of your life, one that always got the endorphins working all these years later.
You cut it in half and found a torrent of butter cascading from its interior to the recesses of the bone plate.
Yes, that was several years ago. Since then, there were ample opportunities to upgrade the household electrical system, but you’d found at each juncture a seemingly valid excuse not to. Anything and everything would do – new deck furniture, kitchen cabinets, a bed with posts around it, like Ebenezer Scrooge’s. Your wife didn’t really want to upgrade either – though she was also averse to losing electricity in a more profound way than you ever could be. To you, it was an inconvenience; to her, a crisis. Still, she was usually the one to fix things. You worked in electricity like a poet in a haberdashery.
Upstairs, in the kitchen, a third of each Pop Tart you were trying to toast to a medium rare was sticking haphazardly from a slot, becoming, remarkably, even drier.