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    Your fingernails reflect your health --
                         Karen Kline
There was a worrying noise a short while ago. I went
to the door, opened it, which I seldom do without
demanding to know who it is, and shouted into the
darkness, "What are you doing?" And, the lights went
on in my master bathroom, so did bathroom fans, the
refrigerator and who knows what else.

"Turning your power back on," came the reply from the
darkness outside.

"Don't you dare. I don't want it. Turn it back off," I
shouted emphatically.

"You don't want it?" some amazement in the reply.

"NO! I'm not paying for it, and I don't want it!"

I looked into the master bedroom which is at the front
and thought how garish the glare of the long-life
fluorescent lights in the master bath was in comparison
to my candles and LED lights.

No, I do not want to be collared by the utility company
again. I am free this way. I know that I have to plan for
the cold, and I can, and
do.

Before with PNM holding the leash to the spiked collar
around my neck, they could come on the spur of the
moment to shut off my heat and lights and leave me
without phone or any preparation and no way to contact
anyone for help, or in case there were an emergency.

I certainly hope no one paid PNM on my behalf (to use
the word of which the emailing South Africans seem so
fond.)

The point I want to make is that to turn off someone's
water or heat or lights  when they have a disability or
are old or are sick, is inhuman and a denial of basic
human rights. I do not appreciate someone having the
ability to threaten my life and beyond that to actually put
it at risk and endanger me.

I would much rather have little, than to have what
appears a lot but is actually nothing but a cage keeping
me under the thumb of the key holder, and keeping me
indebted for all of my available money.

I do not accept being the slave of those with the keys to
light, heat, water. I would rather live in my tent over my
bed, with candles for heat, and know that I will take care
of myself, than to trust those who are not trustworthy,
who took my heat and light when I was not prepared
and when I asked them for two days to transfer the
money.

They refused me two days. They wanted to punish me
for being poor and not having the money in my bank
account for them on a moment's demand. If they had
wanted the money, they would have given me two days
to get it. But they didn't, they wanted to subject me to
what they thought would make me cringe with fear.

I was afraid when it was dark and I lost my balance and
hurt my wrist. But then, after nearly a week of that, by
the time the Easter holiday was over, I had survived,
and it felt good to survive. To take care of myself.

I am not going back.

If more people did this, the utility companies would
behave differently.

The reason I hope no one paid them, is that would only
encourage them in their bad behavior. It is really
important to begin to recognize that certain behavior is
life threatening and it's not okay, not for a better bottom
line, not for profit. Simply NOT okay.



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