A pipe burst upstairs and flooded the top floor. The room where the pipe is located leads directly down the stairs to the basement. Of course, the front of the basement was soaked in no time. Then, once the water had caused enough damage upstairs, it started coming through the floor, down the walls and into the rest of the basement.
The pipe was gushing for about 3 or 4 hours before anyone came home from work. I rent the basement suite and my landlord, who is a single woman in her early thirties lives upstairs. We both work two jobs and are home less then the amount of time Britney spends with her kids.
“Hi…Alice, there was a pipe here that burst so the basement is a little bit wet…I got some stuff off the ground for you…”
“So…I don’t think you’ll be able to sleep here tonight…There’s a lot more damage then we um, originally thought. Call me when you get this!”
At which point I was already pulling up to the house. I walked downstairs in my 4 inch stilettos and was instantly soaked. Every room in my house was drenched. I had been doing laundry and had half my clothes on the floor in the laundry room – all of them were water-logged practically beyond repair.
My walls were literally buckling inwards and bubbling with water. I couldn’t turn the lights on because there was a large chance of starting a fire or electrocuting myself. The furnace was no longer working because it was filled with fluid so the basement was freezing, dark and damp; perfect – if you’re a vampire.
I did what any sane girl would do; grabbed work clothes for the next day, my footie-PJs, a book, 3 pairs of shoes (just in case) and slept elsewhere.
I came home from work at noon the next day to find 5 people in my house packing my belongings. Turns out they were from the insurance company and had to get everything out so the house didn’t collapse like a Jenga game with one too many sticks missing.
“Do you need any of these” one of them asked me, pointing to one of my full shoe racks with one hand and holding my BCBG shoes in his other.
That did it, I burst into tears. I am not a cryer but telling me you’re going to store my shoes away for gawd knows how long will reduce me to a blithering idiot. Turned out to be 4 months until my place was liveable again, so it’s a good thing I didn’t let that cretin take them away.
This is all a distant (yet still traumatizing) memory, as I moved back to my place in May. I found out a few things in the meantime; I absolutely can never live with my parents again; the suburbs are way too far away from civilization; my younger sisters are actually fun; peace and quiet are so not over-rated; never leave a box of jackets with the movers; and liquid eyeshadow is a completely unnecessary purchase.
Why am I bringing up this tragic tale of misery and woe? Well, this morning I got up, went to have a shower and stepped in a giant puddle. I could hear a whooshing sound like the slow release of air out of a raft punctured by the carelessness of a smoker. Yes, one of my pipes was leaking.
I grabbed 4 towels to sop up the water, threw them in the washer where they will remain, sopping, disgusting and stinky until I come home from work this evening to wash them. I called my landlord to break the bad news. I wrapped a dishtowel around the culprit spot and set a bucket under the leak.
Since I thought I had it all covered, I got ready for work as quickly as I possibly could. I ran to the front entrance way to grab my shoes so I could run out the door, sprint like Bolt to the bus and still be on time for work. As I strapped on my bright pink shoes, I stepped in another huge puddle. The pipe had leaked all the way from my laundry room, through the furnace room and into my front hallway.
If I get home and find strange men packing my shit up, there’s going to be hell to pay.