Let’s see—not last night—but the night before that I go into the brand new little closet office that we have created for me and my computers to turn off the lights and note that water is dripping down from the ceiling around the outlets for the lights. It’s not a flood, just a drip. But what the hell is water doing dripping out of my ceiling at 930 at night. I feel fit to be tied. I woke up that morning fit to be tied, and now I feel even more fit to be tied. I feel that I am going to crap my head out my anus.
I am deeply disturbed to find at 930 at night water dripping from my ceiling. So Carol gets on the phone and I go break into the utility closet that is right below my new little closet office because that’s where the turn off is located and the water heaters. And I break in with a screwdriver because only certain people are supposed to have the key to the damn utility closet though it would make terrific sense for us to have one since we live right next to the damn thing, and sure enough hot water is dripping down the wall. I turn off the water to the whole building, that would be 8 units of people without water.
But then one of the guys from the condo board shows up with the key to let in a plumber and finds me standing there with my screw driver and we decide the problem is just the hot water, so I turn the water back on, and he sets out to turn off just the hot water which he doesn’t know how to do and I don’t blame him because the pipes coming out of the water heater and going into the wall have been repaired so many times and replaced they are like some weirdedassed Rube Goldberg machine. But he gets the water off, and another condo guy comes by and I say I am worried because while we have turned off the water, the problem is in the ceiling of my two story condo and I cannot figure out how the hell a person gets up into the ceiling above the condo into the crawl space.
Well, he says—and of course I know—some units have an hole in the ceiling a guy can crawl through. He knows because they have been trying to replace the TV cable in one of the units and the TV cable people keep sending out fat repair persons who cannot get through the hole in the ceiling. I mean they get stuck trying to. And Carol who has got the business manager for the the condo complex and has called the plumber with the OK of the business manager says she believes the unit at the end of our building with 8 units in it has a way into the crawl space. So we go disturb this person I have never met before and she does have a way into the crawl space at the top of her stairs hidden behind a large pull down light fixture.
But I am still troubled because the units are not like in a neat row; some are set forward and some are set back and it’s a long way from that unit to our unit and I just can’t see with the way the buildings are situated that a plumber, one small enough to get through the opening, could crawl from one end to the other. I say this to the second condo association guy who has showed up and he says he thinks he has a list back at his place of the units that have openings to the crawl space. So he goes to get that and finally comes back after the plumber has arrived, and gone through the opening we have found, and says he can’t get from that unit to our unit, and with the list we find out that there is a way into the crawl space in the unit right next door to ours, so we have to wake up our neighbors at 1030 at night because they have to work the next day and they let the plumber in so he can crawl into the space.
Our next door neighbors are nice and polite and we wait till the plumber comes out of the ceiling and says he has indeed found a leak and that it will take about two hours to repair, which he can do right now at 1030 at night or come back in the morning. And what should he do. And for some reason everybody is looking at me maybe because I am the oldest and clearly the most pissed off—should we wait and leave people without hot water when they get up in the morning to take their damn showers—or should we go ahead and just do it. So I ask the young lady who lives next door what she thinks since they are the ones who are going to be most disturbed as the plumber goes in and out of their unit and crawls into the roof, and she says do it now because that would be best for everybody, and I say sure OK.
So the plumber goes to work at 135 dollars an hour at about 11 at night. Now usually I am in bed and at least trying to get to sleep by 11 at night. But that is clearly not going to happen because I am increasingly fit to be tied as I see more and more clearly that the way things are going in all likelihood they are going to have to go in, once the plumbing repair is done, the attic, take out the ruined insulation and probably have to knock out the sheet rock in the roof of my new little office closet and replace it and this will require I take out all the stuff I have put in and will take forever with people coming and going—and lord knows, how the hell long getting the repercussions of this damn leak taken care of…
Because additionally, it has become crystal clear by this point that the carpet of the little pantry closet we have downstairs has been completely saturated with water from the leak, which is coming down through the walls and that too will have to be pulled out and replaced. And I am fit to be tied thinking about that because we had to go through that last summer when water from the water heaters saturated the wall of that closet and all the sheet rock had to taken out because of mold growth and we were stuck for a week with a damn demolding machine howling away in the closet generating heat and noise and that just went on for damn ever—with people coming and going to take out the sheetrock and put in new and recarpet the floor.
So maybe it’s 11 and we are sitting next door with our neighbor and Carol mentions that her mother just died—which the neighbor didn’t know—and she just starts laughing, which is not as impolite as it sounds because Carol has told our tale of woe about all the deaths and stuff that is going on with us. And she says she is sorry but she doesn’t know what else to do when she thinks of all the crap that has been raining down on Carol and me lately. And I say, go for it, because it certainly is damn funny in some way. I mean, I am not laughing but I can see how it might appear funny and is a sign I guess of the weird state I am in because I really am not offended when somebody starts laughing when a person says my mother just died.
And maybe if I were not fit to be tied I would be laughing too because really it is a damn howler.