I am in a reflective mood, thoughtful and quiet, possibly poisoned by the noxious sewer gases creeping up through the wooden floor boards. Yes, the sewer lines are clogged from tree roots, the head of my niece’s Pretty Pony, and whatever else fell into the “terlet” over the past year.
Black sludge oozes from the relief pipe in the front yard, and pools around the laundry room drain. This situation is not going to fix itself and there is no more time left to wait it out. The smell of rotting debris and human waste hastens us towards action or insanity.
Dark, wet crumbs from the litter box are now mixed in the laundry room mess. It appears that the cats, unable to restrain themselves from the lure of the unknown, ran through the growing sludge pool. Something about the way it felt then triggered them to streak and spin through the rest of the house like berserkers.
These are the days that pets and home ownership are more of a delight than usual.
For once, we know what to do after catching the cats and cleaning off their dirty feet.
“Call the guy,” I say.
“What guy?” my husband asks, not quite on the same page yet.
“The guy. You know the one who came out last year.”
“Oh him, already called him. He’ll be here before lunch.
You see, one year ago, the same thing happened after less than a month of living in this house. I remember the day clearly because it contained a series of unfortunate events, beginning with the pilot light to the water heater whiffing out. We tried everything to restart it without success. On the positive side, we also didn’t manage to blow ourselves or house up. So we begrudgingly agreed to race through ice-cold showers before calling for help, which is when the tub started to fill with dark water. The shower plan was immediately cancelled.
Then we noticed the water in the toilet rising higher and higher. If this wasn’t the effects of global warming, then it was surely the end of the world. We looked outside, certain that this was the apocalypse. Perhaps the rapture was about to take place?
Instead of the good souls being taken up into the skies, black sludge spewed forth from a white pipe in the front yard, just like today. I flashed back with a shudder, it was all so familiar. Still not the end of days…
We survived a year ago just like we will today, only this time we know who to call for help.
May this house stand until an ant drinks the ocean and a tortoise circles the world.