Sunday, January 27, 2013

...and then the radiators blew up.


People always say that bad things happen in threes. I used to not believe it, or find it to be a coincidence. We try to make sense of when bad things happen, try to justify them happening, and try to brace ourselves for the next bad thing.  

After last week, I'm not so sure anymore. Things may just happen in threes. Things may just happen when there's a full moon. 

My Grandmother Dorothy, a woman I've written about in previous posts (1, 2), passed away last Monday morning. She was 86. I created a memorial web site in her honor for my family- which you can read here. I don't have much else to say on the topic. Her funeral and burial are Wednesday. I'm flying to D.C. for it and taking a few bereavement days from work.
1926-2013

So, that's the first thing.


Then, on Monday night, I noticed that our radiators were making a *lot* of noise- more so than usual- clunking and thunking and hissing and sounding generally angry with me. I assumed it was because of the severity of the cold outside that perhaps our building's management had cranked the furnaces up for us. What was most odd was that it wasn't making our apartment blazing hot (a phenomenon I had experienced at my Alma Mater)- I shrugged it off and assumed that the -7 windchill was just too biting for radiators.

Was I ever wrong:

Tuesday night, I took a shower. When I got out, Rob had already managed to turn off the majority of our lights and was in bed. So, I toweled off, got in my jammies, and went to throw my clothes from the day into my hamper (which sits by the radiator). That's when my foot hit a puddle of cold water. Ice cold, spine shivering water.

"WHATTHEFUCKDAMMIT" I screamed (like a lady).

We turned on the lights, and grabbed a flashlight (our bedroom is wood-paneled, so it's hard to see everything at night), and saw the puddle. So, I quickly mopped it up and didn't see the radiator leaking anymore, so we shrugged it off as if it had happened when the radiators kicked back on. No big deal.

I woke up the next morning, and felt like it was cold in our apartment. The windchill is still low this morning, I thought, better get dressed quickly so I'm not late for work. After all, it was 5:55 A.M. I got up, ran about, and before I left- looked over by the radiator. There was a small puddle, which I quickly mopped up.

"Hey Rob, before you leave for work today- can you check on the radiator? It looks like it might still be leaking, but I may have missed a spot last night."

I run out the door and head to work.

I had been at work for an hour and a half when I got Rob's frantic messages.

The radiator in the bed room was leaking, as was the one in the dining room. All my clothes, and any magazines/papers near the radiator were soaked. The blankets we keep stowed behind the sofa, moist with grossness.

devil machine.


Rob was mad at us for not cleaning the apartment on a regular basis, mad that he was staying home from work to clean it all up.

So, I took a personal day, headed to KMart for cleaning supplies, and then we cleaned. We cleaned the whole apartment from top to bottom. Called the landlords and explained the situation. Cleaned some more. Did a large amount of laundry. Took a lunch break and worked on my Grandma's memorial site. Cried. Went to sleep.

Since the landlords didn't come that day, we rigged up two cups to catch the drip of the radiators.

The next day (Thursday), my alarm clock went off again at 5:50. I hit snooze. At 6:00, I heard the sound of a plastic cup toppled over followed by the unmistakable "whoosh" noise that water makes when poured over, lets say, a wood floor. I threw my feet over the side of the bed and stepped right into- you guessed it-- a big ass puddle of water.

For you see, when you clean up and remove from your floor all of your clothes and paper barrier that had been soaking up the previous puddle; when you leave nothing but a bare, hardwood floor, water will spread across that shit like that is its job. Water went all over the bedroom floor and pooled over towards the bathroom. So, I quickly mopped all of it up and replaced the cup. Then I went to work.

The landlords came later that morning and fixed the radiators.

That was #2.

Yesterday, Rob and I were on the sofa, eating brunch.  Like a crazy person, I started to hear a dripping noise. A slow, repetitive drip from the bedroom. It's just the shower, I thought while shoving a fork full of omelet into my face. It's just the shower.

I let it drip for a couple of minutes more, when I finally decided just to confirm that it was the shower. I walked over to our bathroom, where as suspected- our leaking faucet was dripping into the tub. I sighed and  thought I was good. Until I heard a dripping noise that was happening opposite the noise coming from the tub.

I walked over to the radiator, where I thought I would find puddles of water again.

No puddles by the radiator. Then I heard the dripping to my right (directly between myself and the door to the bathroom). I saw a puddle right by the door to the fire escape.
 Bathroom door is on the wall to the right of the back door

Strange, I thought- bending down to see the puddle. I saw the drip fall into it. I looked up to see where it was coming from-

The ceiling. Our fucking ceiling was leaking.

"WHATTHEFUCKDAMMIT" I yelled again towards Rob (like a lady does, you know).

We called the landlords. They said they would send someone *right* over.

An hour and forty-five minutes later, a man arrived at our door. He tromped over, through the apartment in his wet boots (tracking prints across the whole thing, which I had JUST cleaned), and went, "yeeeeep. that's a leak alright." (No fuck?) He then proceeded to walk out the bedroom door to the fire escape (leaving the door wide open in -4 degree weather) and walked up it. Spent a couple of minutes up there, walked back in the door, and while shutting it behind him says to Rob and I: "Looks like there's a whole up in the gutter that's drippin' down the side of the building and into your apartments. That's why there are those nasty lookin' icicles above the door here (pointing at the DEATHCICLES above the door). Yep. Gonna have to have one of my guys come by on Monday to fix it up."

He then tromped right out of the apartment.

That, I hope with my whole heart, was the third and final sin of my week.


You guys, I really- desperately- need some good things to start happening ASAP. I just kind of feel "stuck" right now, you know? Like someone dropped a big-ass boulder in front of the path I was on a couple of years back and I haven't been able to conquer it. What do I do? How do I get the job I love? How do I find the place I want to live? How do I balance it all? How do I still have fun with my life while under budget for adulthood?

For some women, getting married and having their kids is all they want. I think those things are nice, sure, but I want the "more" in life- I want to travel, to photograph, to move freely without restriction, to do things that I want to do and not have to worry about what others think-I used to be this way- I used to have what I wanted and how I wanted it to be, was-

This past week was a shit show, and I'm kind of waiting for this week to be over (to be past the funeral) to see if I can't get my life started back up again. I'm so sick of feeling so stuck and depressed all of the time.

Suggestions welcome. 

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