From my turbulent beginnings as an unemployed "writer," I have made headway, dear friends. No, it's not that I've published any of the pieces I've sent out in the distant hope that someone would find me amusing, charming or both. It's more that I've developed a schedule of sorts, and I now get up at a decent hour and sometimes shower by a decent hour and whatnot. I've also begun freelancing for a local paper, the Chapel Hill Herald (part of the Durham Herald Sun), I've started running regularly again (and even bought new, badly-needed running shoes), thus lessening the worry that I will become a fat and very lazy unemployed person, rather than just a normal unemployed person and we're taking care of some things around the house. So, basically, things are looking up.
Sadly, things looking up doesn't mean I don't have time to spend my morning being totally ridiculous.
Yesterday we took care of one of those things around the house that needed to be taken care of. Specifically, a little problem with the plumbing. Last year a plumber discovered that tree roots were growing into a pipe outside, which in turn was causing the shower to clog and the toilet to fill with bubbles every time we did the laundry. Also, the pipe in question would back up and spew stuff around the backyard. Like, you know, sewage or whatever. The dogs, needless to say, loved this. They loved it.
I'm sorry, but I'm not here to tell you pretty stories about roses and puppies. Well, I mean, I will if it comes up, but I had to throw a disclaimer in there. You've got to when you're talking about sewage.
Recently we noticed the dogs having a heyday out back again, and that the shower was getting clogged, and the bubbles, and this time there was the added bonus of the toilet leaking from the bottom when flushed. So our bathroom was like a swamp. And our backyard was like a...backyard...with little pieces of toilet paper strewn about.
Our landlord told us to call up the regular guys, and they responded promptly. Too promptly, in fact, because they came at about 9 a.m. yesterday, when what they said was that they'd probably be able to get here by 11. This meant that I had to throw on some pants and a t-shirt directly after getting out of bed and having my morning coffee and that I got to try and do something with my wildman hair, which is, right now, kind of too short to put back, but I tried anyway. So I looked really nice, is what I'm saying.
But I was happy the plumber was present, and was fixing the problem. That is, until about halfway through the process, when I realized that having had a few cups of coffee I had to pee pretty badly. And I didn't want to, because the guy was out back, and what if I flushed and it blew up in his face or something? Then again, what if I didn't flush? Or what if I went in there, and he came in the house and asked, "Just what the hell do you think you're doing? I'm WORKING on that." The possibilities were endless, so I just sat at my computer, pretending to do this and that, but really just wondering how long I could hold it before my bladder would explode and I would die. And, oh, if that happened, how people would talk.
While I was strategizing, the plumber came in and told me he had to go back to his office to get a part and that he'd be return shortly. Thank God! I thought. The minute he was out the door I rushed to the bathroom only to discover that the toilet wasn't even attached to the floor. It turned out that in order to replace the seal, he'd been forced to remove it and place it to the side, exposing a hole underneath. I won't lie and say that I didn't think about peeing in that hole, if only for a second. Then I thought about the yard. It was mid-morning. People in the neighborhood were at work, right?
Before any of that came to pass I rationalized that both of those ideas could really complicate things. But that didn't change the urgency of it all. I took some deep breaths, and realized I was being silly. There is a casual restaurant and bakery just down the street that J and I sometimes hit up for muffins or scones on our way to work. Surely I could use their bathroom! And in the end that's just what I did. I kind of felt guilty afterwards, for just marching in there, straight to the bathroom, so I got a coffee to go. Luckily, the plumbing job was done by the time I finished drinking it, the toilet attached the floor, and I was free to use it as I pleased, which is good, because it was a pretty big cup.