That Time During the Power Outage that I was Sitting Alone in the Dark and a Strange Man Entered the Apartment

Lucy McNamara
November 5, 2015

After hopfully capturing your attention with my title, I'll provide some context to the story: Two months ago, some construction workers were digging a tunel outside of the city in order to make way for a new subway track and they somehow dug through all the wiring that provides (provided) electricity to the entire northern zone of Buenos Aires.

Thus, for four nights my neighborhood and its surrounding barrios were left to fend for themselves without electricity. 

So there I was on a Monday night home alone and trying to nap before dinner (because what else is one supposed to do in the dark with a dead computer and dying phone?).

All of a sudden, I hear the front door open. 

"Mónica?" No answer. "Mónica?" Nothing. "Quién es?"

My heart begins to beat faster and my sweat begins to accumulate on the surface of my palms. I get up from my bed and peer around the corner down the hall. What do I see but the silhouette of a full-grown man! (...probably a robber.)

I briskly tiptoed back into my room and, using the fading light of my iPhone, I began to write in my journal: There is a strange man in the apartment and Natalie and Jade are still at class and Mónica is at a meeting and I can't see anything and I don't have minutes left on my local phone so I can't call 9-1-1! WHAT DO I DO?!

Just then, the robber's voice calls out, "Lucy? Estás acá?"

How did the kidnapper know my name? I heard his footsteps approaching. This is it...this is how it all ends, I concluded.

The kidnapper/murderer came toward me, holding out an electronic lantern. "Para vos, toma" ("for you, take it").


As it turns out, this man is named Luis and he works in our building and thus has access to every apartment. He is a good friend of Mónica's and she had called him and asked that he bring me a lantern lest I get scared in the dark...

The cons of not having electricity:

1) The elevator ceased to function. Also, the lights that illuminate the stairwell ceased to function. Thus, we were left to grope our way through the dark and up seven flights of stairs.

2) No lights, no water, no heat, no Wi-Fi.

3) No Wi-Fi = No Netflix.

The pros of not having electricity:

1) My quads firmed up from the numerous treks upstairs. Also, the angry dog on the third floor doesn't scare me anymore.

2) I treated myself to doing my homework in cafés and bakeries after school to use the Wi-Fi. Also, Mónica couldn't cook dinner so we got to eat out in restaurants.

3) Jade, Natalie and I, without the escape of our technology, ended up spending a lot of time together hundled in blankets around a lantern. While that's not what I had pictured three months ago, this turned out to be a really nice way to spend time together in the homestay.

Everything worked out and the four of us ended up having a cozy time during the power outage. Yet I am especaially able to reminisce with a smile on my face as I sit in the well-lit kitchen checking up on my Instagram feed and sipping a hot cup of tea.

More Blogs From This Author

View All Blogs

Lucy McNamara

<div>My name is Lucy McNamara and I am twenty years old. I am from Bolton, Massachusetts but am currently studying&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">history as a junior at the University of Virginia. I am the tenth out of twelve children in my family, thus I am an&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">experienced arguer and am considering law school! I love to read, write, cook, and take photographs, and I could not be&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13.0080003738403px; line-height: 1.538em;">more excited to share all my new experiences in Buenos Aires with you.</span></div>

Home University:
University of Virginia
Explore Blogs