Suddenly, pressurized water shot out of the floor, sending me back against the wall. The geyser then slammed into the ceiling, drenching me further before I fought the stream and shut off the valve.

Less than two minutes after I shut off the water, my wife came in and asked how my day was.

“I’m soaking wet,” I said as I glowered in the doorway of the bathroom. I then went into a few minutes of expletives.

That was Tuesday. Let’s go back to Saturday.

Although I work most Saturdays, I get to sleep in till noon if I want. I typically don’t, but I can.

What I don’t do is get up at roughly 7 a.m.

There was a series of knocks on my front door. I didn’t care. Then I heard a key in the lock. Why, oh why, is my landlord here unannounced at 7 a.m.?

He was a bit frantic.

Apparently, my house was leaking sewage into the apartment below. It just so happened that the new guy downstairs was moving in as this happened. There has been a series of minor plumbing issues in this house since I was downstairs. I don’t know why we stayed in this building either, but we’re definitely moving on within the next six months.

But I digress.

We were told to a plumber was on his way to figure out what was going on. Our bedroom shares a wall with the bathroom. So much for going back to sleep.

About an hour later, we got the bad news. We needed to use as little water as possible until Monday, because an entire plumbing crew needed to rip out half of a wall, because, 70-odd years ago, entombing all of the wastewater pipes inside thick plaster walls was a brilliant idea.

I went overboard with my share of rationing because I have 24-hour access to the newsroom and its running water.The biggest plus is that the newspaper building has showers from its former life as a defunct company’s headquarters. Showering is another thing I can now check off my “things I’ve done at work” list.


Monday morning was a 12-hour day. I got up around 6 a.m. to get out of here before the workmen came. At 7:30, I was already at my desk and had deluded myself into being chipper. By 7:30 p.m., I wanted to die. And had three hours of work left to go.

Also, I was told that the carpentry crew would be on their way bright and early Tuesday to replace the wall and re-install the sink.

Today is my day off. My only day off until next week because one of the editors has a family issue to resolve.

By 7:30 a.m., I was sitting in a Waffle House because I don’t do breakfast food and didn’t know where to go. It made me miss Third Street Diner in Richmond. I really wanted pancakes and a screwdriver.

I hung out at the library downtown for a bit, ran a couple of errands before realizing there was one I couldn’t do and then came back to the house, hoping they were finished.

Seeing that the carpenters were still here, I nearly gave up and set out to sleep in my car for a few hours. Since I don’t have a driveway, I considered crawling into the trunk, since it’s empty and there are two ways to get out of it when the lid’s closed and I unlock the backseat. It took too much effort to sequester myself in a way in which I couldn’t be seen, so I asked how much longer it would be then took a quick drive.

Finally, they were finished. I fell asleep within 10 minutes then, upon waking, discovered that the toilet wouldn’t flush.

From experience, I checked the valve. From inexperience, I didn’t check the hose.

One thought on “wet

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