The Islander: Volume 4 (Turn Your Lights Down Low)

2 Apr

Photo Mar 18, 3 15 38 PM

In 1981, long before I was born, sat a much younger Phil Collins.  He was penning what would become one of the most timeless songs this generation would ever see.  When interviewed about “In the Air Tonight”, Collins said that he wasn’t entirely sure what it was about, having wrote it in frustration and hurt after divorcing his first wife.  I’m here to tell you that while that may be true, he’s not fooling me, I know exactly what it’s about.

The song is about BEC.  That’s right.  This song is about the Bahamas Electric Company or Bahamas Power & Light.  Whatever their name is.  To the foreigners, BEC is the company in charge for keeping the lights on and believe you me, I use the term ‘keeping the lights on’ very loosely, but back to the lyrics and the obvious BEC/Phil Collins connection.

The way I see it, Phil lived in the Bahamas and was fed up with the lights going out so frequently.  Hell.  That may have even lead to his divorce.  Trust me, in the middle of summer, when it’s two hundred and thirty seventeen degrees in the shade, you don’t even want yourself touching yourself, much less a significant other.  But listen to the words of the song.  “I can feel it coming in the air tonight.”  Anyone that has ever experienced a BEC blackout, prior to the lights going out, there’s a feeling that overcomes you.  A sixth sense or premonition if you will.  You just know they about to do garbage.  Tell me I lie.  Of course there are those times when BEC catches you completely off guard as well, and you feel betrayed but those are few and far between.

Now I see the skepticism in your eyes.   You’re probably asking “Why does Phil keep saying ‘Oh Lord’…what does that have to do with BEC? ” Well, he keeps saying that every few lines to remind you of the heat he is experiencing as a result of the lack of electricity.  Clearly, the Lord is the only one that can help him.

He goes on to sing, “I been waiting for this moment, for all my life.”  If you listen, you can really hear the passion in his voice especially as it is the last major line of the song.  He’s obviously referring to that moment when the electricity gets turned back on.  The passion he’s exuding is his over elation at the fact that he has electricity again.  Take em’ to church Jonathan.

Since I moved to Abaco, I’ve been seeing all of these generators at business establishments which isn’t uncommon at all.  What has struck me was the number of them in residential areas.  Now coming from Nassau, I was fully aware that this wasn’t a sheer coincidence nor was the generator company having a blow out sale.  This wasn’t a good omen.  And so, since I’ve been here, I’ve just been waiting for that moment to happen.  Waiting.  It’s like when you were a kid and slapped a friend, and they told you they were going to get you back but you didn’t know when, so you’re there telling them to hit you right then.

Don’t get me wrong, there were a few close calls.  The lights cut off in the food store.  I’d come home to see the clock needing to be reset on the stove.  They were toying with my emotions.  And then two nights ago, it happened.  At 2:41AM no less.  When BEC cuts the lights off, there is an instant heat associated with the electricity going off ergo me knowing the exact time.  Luckily for me, I had been preparing for this very moment.  Like Phil, I felt it coming.  In a weird fit of luck, I cut the temperature down that day a few degrees.  Little did i know that later on that evening, this stroke of genius would save my life.


I decided to take a selfie during the blackout.

Jonathan 1, BEC/BPL 0.  While I may have won the battle, the war rages on.  With the summer fast approaching, something tells me that this isn’t the last of them.

Life’s a beach.  Enjoy the wave.  (Also just saying that they could probably use waves to make steady electric energy but…well never mind.)

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