Do you ever find yourself with nothing to do when the power goes out? Philani Amadeus Nyoni, suggests five activities to help pass the Zesa-less hours.
Listen to an audio book
When I first discovered I was asexual, my doctor advised I try watching porn. That was weird because back then porn was on videotapes, and the only way to watch it was after midnight, on the 14 inch television in the lounge, with the volume down.
I wasn’t staying up for that sh*t so he suggested literary porn, or literotica, to use the name preferred by writers of the genre. Then technology caught up and we had audio porn, which is basically a husky voiced woman reading the literotica. Eventually I learnt other normal books are available in audio. Download a Stephen King and walk through the dark listening to that on your earphones. Now that gets me stiff – with fear!
Call black people
I don’t mean racially black, I mean Muvhango black…like dark black people. Preferably, hide your number and say: “My my, you have really gained weight haven’t you?” My favourite line is: “Is this your boob I’m touching?” or while stroking the darkness: “Is this doing anything for you?”
Run Around Your Neighbourhood Naked
We in Zimbabwe have a rare opportunity and like my mama always said: be grateful for everything you have. How many people can run around naked in the middle of the night? Witches have been doing it for years and I assure you, it’s quite an experience.
You will feel alive, the cool air permeating the hair of your nether regions, and said nethers swinging, dangling and slapping like Adam chasing Eve for a peach. I usually do my run at 20:25; five minutes before ZESA is scheduled to come back on. The course takes me 15 minutes and no one has ever seen my goods.
Alternatively, paint yourself like a zombie and in a slow creepy voice, say to anyone who is unfortunate enough to happen your way in the dark, ‘I – want – brain.’
I swear it’s f*cking hilarious, weird if you have your clothes off. It makes you seem like some kind of sexual delinquent with a fetish for fellatio in the middle of the road.
Make a bonfire
We all make fires to cook and stuff when the power goes out, but if you haven’t been zonked, danced around a bonfire banging the shit out of congas, my friend, you haven’t experienced the joy of a power outage.
Visit people you can’t stand
The Catholics in my neighbourhood visit each other on Tuesdays when the power goes out, and I figured it makes sense. If you can’t watch TV, might as well talk to God and complain about it like: ‘when I asked for my daily bread I thought the electricity for the toaster was tacitly included’. At least in the dark the neighbours can’t see you just pawned your TV to pay last month’s rent and might export one of your kidneys to Cuba for the current month.
And technology is taking the personal feel out of relationships, since you don’t have anything to do and the phone is out of battery, try visiting someone; not your sweetheart for a slow walk under the moonlight, try visiting someone you can’t stand. While they are being obnoxious, lower your pants, squat and keep going ‘yeah…aha…no way! Shit!’ while you coil a brown rope onto their new Persian rug freshly imported from Dubai.
Philani Amadeus Nyoni is a published Zimbabwean poet (“Once A Lover Always A Fool” and “Hewn From Rock”), short story writer and actor. His writings have been published in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday News, Zimbabwe Metro, South Africa Metro, Consciousness.co.za and Ghana Poetry Foundation. He has often been referred to as a Madman.