Sunday, March 11, 2012

Water On My Floor Again

As I entered my second straight hour of evacuating water from my apartment building's floors, my thoughts wandered to the last time I had used a broom to literally sweep a large amount of water out of a place where I was living in the developing world. I was alerted to the situation sometime around three in the morning when I was awakened by my neighbor to find a quarter-inch of water on my bedroom floor. It turned out the corner unit had some kind of problem with its plumbing that resulted in a steady flow of water onto the floor from a pipe that should have been filling its toilet's tank. The result was ankle-deep water in that apartment that spilled out in such volume that it filled the hallway floors and the floors of nearly every apartment on the second floor.

To try and mop up all this water or sop it up with towels would have been a waste of time. Instead, the best approach was to physically move it out the door, down the hall, and down the stairs where it could exit the building's side door. A side effect of this effort was the redepositing of an unknown amount of the water in some of the locked, unoccupied units along the way. The process also had the additional effect of dispatching a number of large spiders from hiding which had legs the length of an adult human pinky finger and which moved alarmingly quickly. Imagine my surprise to find that one such spider was deposited on my shoulder upon opening my front door that morning.

I had been sweeping in earnest for some time when Estefany and Cristina finally awoke and wandered over to gawk at my predicament and describe to each other my response in a tone that seemed to contain mild amusement and surprise. I wondered crossly what other course of action they'd imagined I'd take. No sooner had I shown them the water's source, though, than they had formed with me a broom conveyor belt to bale out the most heavily-affected apartment. By the time we had finished, my back ran with sweat and hair and beard were soaked. Another neighbor had disconnected the offending apartment's water. I was thoroughly exhausted and it was barely morning. The mopping of my floor and throwing away of ruined things could commence, but first I needed to bathe and take a long nap.