The power has gone out in my Spanish apartment. The lights are off, the cords are not charging anything, the elevator has stalled, and inside the fridge, the strawberries are molding faster by small increments, waiting for small wisps of room-temperature air to seep in.
In the hallways I hear the echoing clangs of dissatisfied Spaniards, opening their doors, stepping into the hallway and finding that there is no one there, who would, perhaps, attend to the problem, and, satisfied in their dissatisfaction, going back inside. I hear them clang again every few minutes. But perhaps they are only looking for neighbors to lament with, as it is our common experience. I admit that I myself voyaged out, barefooted, to stubbornly press the elevator button again and again and see that it did not light up.
Outside it has started raining.
I wonder how many of my neighbors are also awake at almost-midnight, how many besides the dissatisfied Clangers. How many are shocked at the timing of the weather.
When the lights come on, maybe 40 minutes later, it scares me more than the first time.
I tuck myself out of bed and go to check on the ice cream.