The Light Switch

When I was little my friend had one of those light switches that let you not only turn the light on and off, but it also allowed you to twist the switch to make it brighter or darker. I was mindblown…

This was the light switch that really spoke out. I know that most people often want to have things that represent them in some way. You want your things to carry some sort of message. This light switch really did. It spoke of prestige and class. My friend’s parents were not living in the simple digital world of on or off. No. They were people with open minds! People who could see beyond just on or off. They could see half on. They could see, mostly on, but not quite as on as actually on. They could see not entirely off, but off enough for you to not notice that it is in fact on.

Ever since that day, the analogue light switch is what I lived for… I never brought it up with my parents. I wanted the light switch, but I didn’t want it enough to ask for one for Christmas or birthday. Instead, I endured. Living each day with the hope that one day, my parents will move up the prestige and social ladder. They will climb and climb until they get the light switch.

A scenic image to set the scene of hope, longing and frustrated love

Several years after that, we got a new house. To my surprise, the house had the thing I had waited for… The analogue light switch. My deprived finger reached for the device and clicked it. Pressing the knob meant on or off. Twisting the knob would make the light brighter or darker. I turned the light on, I turned it off. Then the time came for the real test. I turned the light back on. My pulse increasing to a near uncomfortable frequency. My palms sweating. The sweat ran down my fingers and made my hand slip off the knob when I tried to turn it. But I was not just going to give up. I wiped the sticky hand on my trousers and with new-born confidence, I grabbed the knob. I turned…

Insert advertisements here…

The knob offered just the right amount of resistance. Not too much to make it strenuous, but not too like to make it feel flimsy. No. This device was designed for the prestige (wo)man. The feedback was just perfect. Almost erotic. After I turned the knob, I looked at the light again… Tears filled my eyes, my shoulders slackened and my knees bent as they could no longer support my weight. Years of waiting and hoping. Endless nights of dreaming about the analogue switch. Now I had it. Thing is, it wasn’t connected… You could only turn it on or off…

Let this be a lesson for you all.

Can someone make this into a film and pay me royalties?


“Light Switches” flickr photo by joshwept shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

“Hope” flickr photo by Jan Tik shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license


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