The water stopped running around midnight on Monday morning. The taps rattled then gurgled then murmured then dribbled then gave up the ghost. I wondered how many were awake in the vicinity to notice. It was all due to the big thaw. Not the big freeze that preceded, dubbed The Beast from the East by the habitually xenophobic press. It was the moment after, the lull, when the vacuum yawns open and chaos is ready to fill it. Think of the bread queues running around the block in Moscow the months after David Hasselhoff defeated communism. There's nothing more dangerous than the moment after an ontology bites the dust. A bit like how we in the post-millennial West immediately start dreaming up apocalyptic scenarios as soon as the cistern fails to refill after the flush. Sometimes we wish it to happen, such is our yearning for authenticity.

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