He always finds it easier climbing up than the part where he has to climb down. After he’s fixed the faulty conductor he makes his way down the pylon, when his son asks him what it’s like climbing on them he reminds himself it’s just like when he, his son climbs around on those frames in the park, the ones he drives him to at weekends, when it’s his turn with the kid. He tells him it’s much more dangerous though, because the frames in the park don’t have high voltage cables that could literally cook you. He’ll never know how much this detail disturbed his son.
By now the whole county is criss-crossed with cables, which means lots of work for him. Sometimes they even send him further aways, paying for his accommodation of course. Nothing fancy, just cheap bed and breakfasts or holiday apartments, mostly during winter, when the prices are at their lowest, and the temperature.
He jumps the last couple of feet, his boots thumping hard against the cold, dry ground. The withered grass crunching as he walks to his van parked on the little access road on the other side of the fence. He looks above him, the power cables, black parallel lines shooting off ahead of him, disappearing over the hills and behind him, heading towards the skyline of the town in the distance.
He dumps his tools in the back and gets into the driver’s seat of the van.
It’s a long drive back to town, it’s already starting to get dark. His hotel is on the other side of the town.
He comes over the hill just as the street lamps are coming on and he sees the town illuminated, he thinks it looks like some huge circuit board coming online. And then he’s in it, driving down those circulatory streets like some electrical signal, heading to a receiver on the far side of whatever machine he imagines it to be. He approaches the hotel, pulling into the car park.
The van comes to a stop with a jolt. He pulls on the handbrake.
He thinks about his son and it reminds him of how lonely he feels.
He takes a deep breath, and decides to just sit there in the dark for a while.