Time was slowly ticking away in our humble abode. Each week a new lesson learned had us feeling more and more comfortable.
Rosters for jobs and assigned days for different tasks were slowly fine tuned, reaching what some would call a functioning household. Everyone was slowly learning to make different meals, rent payments were being made, the house was for the most part acceptably clean and everyone was happy, this is livin’ Barry. A few months had passed by this point, and everything had been running smoothly...too smoothly. Situations like this make me feel uneasy; something hasn’t gone wrong in a while so it’s bound to soon. But as the days plodded along misfortune was yet to strike.
The following day, returning from a days’ work, covered head to toe in mud and ready for a relaxing evening. I reached the top of the little set of stairs that lead to my front door, grabbing the mail from the letterbox ritualistically as I’m more than often the first one home. Walking inside I threw the mail down on the coffee table and started toward the shower.
As I began to walk away an unfamiliar emblem on one of the envelopes caught my eye, picking it up I realised it was from the electricity company, our first electricity bill. Having never paid bills before I couldn’t help but feel a jitter of excitement, another notch on my adulting belt. Peeling the letter open I skimmed over the foreign document, looking for how much money we owed, when I saw the number at the bottom. I winced and looked closer, surely they’ve missed a decimal point in there somewhere...
It was on this day that I became the Electricity Nazi, the air-con commandant, the wicked witch of the light switch. From this day forward not a single light was left on unless it was completely necessary, no fan was left spinning after someone had left the room, televisions were not to play along to themselves, my strict regime possessed me to the point where I switched outlets off at the wall even when nothing was plugged in, I was fighting the good fight.
After a night out on the town, a few beers had been had and I had commenced my walk home, when I reached the front of my house I could not believe what lay before me. Each and every light was glowing, illuminating my fears for my next electricity bill. Fans blowing anxious thoughts into my mind of decibels far too far along a string of numbers, air conditioning chilling me to my stressed out core. With a bellow I roared “IT’S LIT UP LIKE A BLOODY BATTLESHIP IN HERE”, which was when it struck me, that is the very same phrase my Dad would annoyingly serenade day in day out. But now I understood.
I took as step back and uttered to myself, “holy crap I sound like my dad...”