Monday, May 18, 2009

Raindrops keep fallin' on my head (part 4 or 5)

I've lost count now.

At some point during the wee hours, I awoke to the pleasant sound of rain. I listened to it for a few moments while trying to ignore the pleas of my tortured bladder.

It occurred to me that the weather had been fine, with no rain in the forecast.

I flew out of bed to the bathroom, where water was pouring from the light.

I nabbed Hodge and put him into his crate. I tried to remember the phone number for the front desk. I tried to go online to find it but couldn't focus. I pawed through shirts on the back of a chair to find something to put over my nightshirt.

Finally I was calm and alert enough to remember how to call.

After several long minutes, I called back, and the desk attendant called the maintenance man again to see where he was. She told me he was on my floor, working on another problem and being difficult. In effect, she said he was telling her she is not the boss of him. Saying that my problem seemed worse than the other on 12 (a power outage), she said she'd call the manager, who is the boss of him.

In the meantime, I'd had to use the bathroom downstairs, so she'd witnessed my anxiety personally.

When I returned after a trip or two, there was a ladder propped up outside the door—that seemed like a start. He appeared soon after and set it up in the bathroom even as I was helpfully saying, "Wait—isn't it coming from above?" "No, no," he disagreed as he knocked out part of the wall and revealed a pipe with a hole through which hot water was spraying out. By now the back half of the apartment felt like a sauna, and the dining room and the bedroom's east windows were obscured by condensation.

After all that, he couldn't get the clamp to stay around the hole. As a temporary measure, he wrapped a towel around it, which was like stanching a severed jugular or a cetacean's blowhole with a tissue, then took off to get another one and some more bolts.

Not really in the mood to laugh at the obvious comedy of errors, at some point I contemplated the crescent moon, at about 41 percent illumination. To the south a planet hung in the subtly brightening sky, while a second planet—Venus?—was rising to the north. I'd decided to find a positive in every negative event, and this predawn spectacle was it.

The maintenance man returned, clamped off the hole, and vacuumed up the water and bits of wet wall that he'd knocked down. After he unplugged the wet/dry vac, I asked him to vacuum the bit of hallway carpet that was wet. When he plugged it in again, into the other half of the outlet, the circuit breaker tripped.

Yes, it was going to be one of those days.

I've thrown a few things out, cleaned up as best I could, and acquired a new bathroom set to replace the old one, which fell part in the wash because, unthinking, I turned the water temperature to hot.

Of course, now I'm nervous that the clamp won't hold, for example, when I shower, and/or that something like this will happen next week while I'm gone. Actually, I'm nervous that it will happen again, period.

According to the tenets of astrology I was born under a water sign, but must it be so literal?

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