July 08, 2013
Gushing, ME Newsletter, Vol. 6, Issue 28
You never really live someplace until you’ve used all the appliances, at least once. After a week of existing in my new space, the next duo was up. The washer/dryer combo were the last untried amenities on my need-to-establish-this-place-as-home list. I learned a good lesson about being cautious from a loose hose in a Tecumseh apartment. I wasn’t there. I was out with a friend learning how to apply ripped wallpaper so that it would look like marbled stone when applied. I got a panicked phone call. Wasn’t much I could do from cross-town, my husband just wanted to share the draining agitation. By the time I got home, the situation was under control, the linoleum hallway was exceptionally clean, and a load of clean clothes was tumbling in the dryer. Although I just about had a heart attack when the buzzer went off. Previous owner must have had it somewhere far away or been very hard of hearing. That got dialed down a bit.
All connections checked. All connections secured. I move on to commencement. Washer on. Filling up. Letting a few long leak-seeking minutes spin by, I am confident there will be no disaster tonight. I don’t go far, though. I’m at the top of the stairs puttering around in the kitchen, trying to make sense of plastic storage. I should know better. Nobody I have ever known has successfully beaten theirs into any form of orderly arranged submission that lasts more than one dishwasher cycle run. Still, I can take momentary comfort that the cabinet contents won’t collectively fling themselves out and rain down upon my short-statured head like ping pong balls onto Mr. Moose, the next time I reach for containment.
That’s when I hear it; the unmistakable sound of furiously gushing water. Yes, gushing; not running, not dribbling, not spraying, not splattering. Gushing!
I move as quickly down the basement stairs as I dare. It won’t help any to fall. It occurs to me I should have grabbed some towels or a mop. Oops, I tossed my old mop pre-move with the intention of getting another. I don’t own a mop, yet. On the last step, I stop, take a breath, prepare myself for combative the sink or swim chore ahead, and peer around the corner for the mess that will take all night to handle. I stay there, poised on the last stair, one foot on, one foot off, steadying myself on the wall.
HBlu streaks by me, and instinctively, I yell, “Stop!” He doesn’t stop because I told him to. He stops because I yelled. That’s a new experience for him. He blinks, I blink, He blinks, and I blink again– because there isn’t any water. Anywhere. Still, I cautiously creep toward the spot where I will safely be able to view the laundry area. I’m reluctant to flip the light switch for fear of… water. In the dim light, there is still no evidence of gushing water. I still hear it, though. I decide to risk lighting the way, and close my eyes as I flick the switch. I really did flick it, as opposed to grabbing the flipper between my fingers. Don’t really know if that would have made me any less electrocuted if there was a problem, though. I’m now staring between the laundry appliances. Still no signs of wet spots or rivers. Still hear what I know I hear, but cannot find the source.
And then, I see something moving, shaking. It just catches the corner of my eye. I think it’s just the frame of my glasses reflecting light,, but I turn that way, anyway. The utility sink, the 90 degree angle of the corroded drain hose, and gushing soapy water. Well, of course. There is no drain access, no sump pump, no egress - just the utility sink. It’s not in the best condition, and I was wondering how it got that way, because most people don’t use them very much. But then most people I know have relatively newer abodes ~ or at least one built quite a bit after mine. Weak with relief. I stand there leaning until the water has trickled to an end, just to be sure.
I have once again acquired and conquered a new experience.
Smiling to myself, I move on the next phase of laundry, and the last great appliance familiarization.
Opening the dryer door causes a short short-circuit. With my one free hand slapped upon my forehead, and an armful of wet clothes waiting to be transferred, I stare in displeased wondrous amazement.
My pleasure has been way too shortly lived. It’s heart-sinkingly obvious: this adventure isn’t over, yet.
Posted by jaselin at July 8, 2013 06:57 PM