I didn’t notice it at first. In my morning, I went downstairs to the shared home office/guest room to work my way through the long list of chores for the day. When I stepped out of the room about twenty minutes later to use the tiny guest bathroom, I splashed.
I looked down. Water everywhere. Where did it come from? I looked up. It wasn’t the skylight. I hollered for Steve. Splash. He stepped into, too. WTF. After some investigative work, we realize that water was overflowing from the shower drain in that bathroom and the toilet. It was brown. Shit! Literally.
We called in the emergency plumbers, who explained that our main sewer was completely blocked up. They said that it probably hadn’t been snaked out, since the house was built about 60 years ago.
With the entire family in the house full time, things are breaking. Problems that lay under the surface for decades are becoming crises. And all the shit is coming to the surface.
I’m worried about the fall. Right now, people are distracted with summer vacations. Their unemployment checks are still coming through, so they can afford to watch their kids full time. The election seems far off. Joe Biden is too weak to draw the ire of Trump or the full attention of the media yet. The BLM protests have petered out, but those resentments are still raw. Schools and colleges haven’t made any commitments for the fall yet, so parents are pretending that everything will go to normal after Labor Day. The virus, which is spreading in cafes and bars across the country right now, is still invisible.
I figure we have a few weeks of grace before the pain hits. I’m worried about high unemployment, illness, social unrest, political upheaval (do we really think Trump will leave peacefully?). I’m worried that basic government functions, from policing to education to mail service, will stop working entirely. I’m worried about people losing their minds and behaving badly. I’m worried about the backed-up shit.
During this period of calm, I am rushing to get all my ducks in a line. Haircuts and dental appointments are first up. Upgrading Steve’s computer equipment must also happen; he doesn’t even have a camera for his old Dell computer, so can’t participate in zoom calls for work. We need to have backup plans for both boys, in case their school and college fail them. In a few weeks, I’ll restock the pantry.
I’m also working on doing repairs on the house. The common area outside our office, which was a dumping ground for yoga mats and drum sets, is going to get an unexpected overhaul. Thanks to insurance, we’ll get new flooring in there, new sheet rock and molding, and new furniture, once the remediation guys remove all their equipment and a contractor can get in there. The laundry room will get a face lift, too.
I suppose it’s sometimes good to have all the shit come out and clean out problems that have long been ignored. Being an optimist, as well as a neurotic, I hope that we end up building something better in the end.