Saturday, September 29, 2007

Service me

Today I had to have a plumber come to fix my bathroom sink, in which water from three mornings ago was still sitting. The sink has been draining slowly for a long time now, and I periodically flushed it with liquid plumber, but this time it wasn't working. I know that I should think more about preventative measures, but my landlord has always been such a loser about fixing things that I figured I could manage on my own. But when he came today, he kept saying what a nice tenant I was, so clean and nice, and that I should call him whenever I need anything, even though I'm moving out in a few months. ("November? December? January? No matter, just let us know.")

I have this irrational aversion to the gunk that builds up in pipes, even when that gunk is made of my own hair and dirty water. I sat here in the bedroom while they were running an electric snake down the pipes and the whirring sound shot into my bones worse than a dentist's drill. But they cleaned it out. After they left I scrubbed the sink, floor, and toilet, but still feel like the bathroom is grimy.

My landlord also told me some stories, in his broken English, about how when he lived in the building there was a bomb in the store downstairs that shook the building and broke all the windows and he had to grab his kids out of their cribs and run downstairs. (The kids are now in their early 30's, so I'm thinking this was mid to late 70's.) I asked him to repeat parts of the story, but his accent is so thick I am not even sure that I got it all. Something about he knew who did it, but the person was never caught, and then he swore a lot and said something about the owner of the building next door (once a Blockbuster, now vacant for over a year), something about how he wanted to bash the guy's head in and said he would've wound up in jail.

I have no idea what he was talking about. The internet is not helping, either.

I think I trace my aversion to clumps of dirty hair to a display my childhood friend's father had placed on the wall behind the toilet: a clear plastic case holding a wad of dark hair alongside a handwritten poem about how people should clean the bathtub drain after they shower. Seriously, thinking of it now makes me a little queasy.

Oh, and this afternoon I had another cable visit. This time, two guys! I guess I've moved up in the ranks of the needy. I have no idea what they did, but it appears to be all fine now. I think I should have asked what they did, in retrospect, because when (if?) it fails again, I like to be able to say something to the next technician other than merely reciting the dates of my last service calls. Although if (IF!!!) it stops working again, I'm letting it go until I move. And hopefully will not have these problems in the new place!!!!

There isn't a term for a hypochondriac about your utilities, is there? I mean, people who call in problems just to have someone to chat with and someone visit. I think I could write that story. Hmmm...

It's already 6 pm, and the day has slipped away. I managed to slip in the gym between plumber and cable call, and packed a couple of boxes waiting for the latter. I want to be lazy and do nothing but my fridge is in dire need of refilling, and I need to get up and out before everything closes.


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