PLUM & PLUMBING

It has been an appallingly stressful week for me. I do hope yours was better. I can’t go into it all now, but I may tomorrow – so either tune out, or prepare for the biggest rant you have ever read.

Suffice it to say that it was nice to meet Duncan after the six days of purgatory were over, and go to the Ofuna Flower Center for the first time; a modest, municipal park that had the first flowering and densely perfumed white and pink plum blossom trees that I have smelled this year.

Arriving home, I went upstairs to get changed and then (eventually) heard extremely agitated shouting from downstairs – Duncan in a panic.

Rushing down, my eyes were met with a scene of chaos and dismay: great gushes of freezing cold water blasting out from a tap that Duncan had tried to change – the pipe spraying huge swathes of water all over the room as he tried in vain to stem the great flow with various towels; screaming. The Niagara that was pulsating forth from the open pipe had pushed off his glasses which had fallen down his face, so he was stanching the river blindly; shouting Neil Neil, help me (neither of us had any clue how to turn it off from the mains); instead I just ran out of the house in my thermal underwear and rushed to our landlords, who as I barged into their house unannounced were just sitting down to have dinner – my eyes saw Mr Mitomi take a delicious looking pork chop and place it on a plate of salad, but I was already out the door exclaiming EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY – getting back to find things unchanged but the room about to flood, water all over the floor, the computer, (my incense~); poor D, who hates water to begin with – can barely swim, and must wash his hair separately in the shower rather than have water streaming down his face – this was HELL for him, I can tell you; beyond drenched, being beaten in the face with water as we used up every towel in the house until our eighty year old Japanese father with common sense managed to turn off the water from outside and we commenced the tedious, cold, sodden clean up operation.

It is interesting how people deal differently psychologically with stressful situations. With me, the hysteria spirals up into a cyclone, feeding into itself, my taut nerve endings strung like tight violins until I burst (and this actually happened several times during the fuckfest of mind-busting stress clusterfucks that happened last week). D on the other hand, once the place had been mopped, sank into a sleep, or at least an eye-closed withdrawal, on the sofa for a few hours, covered in blanket, immobile, like a cat that plunges into the deepest of slumbers, dead to the world, after a trauma, until it regains some equanimity and can bear to go again about its feline daily doings. We barely spoke again until this morning, when they came back again (in truth, there have been several domestic problems, including a blocked bath, which is one of the reasons I damaged my arm, lifting potfuls of skank hair and soap water from the disgusting mildewy tub every time a shower caused the undertile hellpool to gurgle back up greyly through the plug hole).

So not even one’s haven is safe from the deluge now. Workmen will be coming in whenever, also to fix the dangerous holes in the floorboards upstairs (we are becoming like the characters in Grey Gardens, but without the coloured silk headscarves). Out there, Civil War seems to be about to break out in America, inspired by that person who I hate more than words can express, and whose every utterance and the crimes he has committed against the world I detest with every fibre in my body; my homeland is in the grip of a terrifying disease that is spreading like wildfire, and the place where I live, while safer, is so exasperatingly ostrich-like in many regards – the hospitals are also filling up here – that it is getting increasingly hard to keep it together.

Anyway, fuck this week.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “PLUM & PLUMBING

  1. I related to your post but all I want to say is that you are not alone. The whole world is messed up. I am alone snd have to go through all the sh.t by myself. Plus I live in America where the only thing now to look forward to is good riddance to bad rubbish. However, most of us realize (hopefully) that even when you get rid of the bad rubbish, the bad odor and vibes take a long time to disappear, if ever.

  2. OnWingsofSaffron

    Oh dear! I am so sorry for the complete—domestic—mess that happened. Pipe ruptures are ghastly affairs. I don’t know whether you’ll hate me for saying it, as I can literally feel the extreme agitation: but pipe burst can be even worse. Not long ago, I went into the underground parking in our apartment house and the sewage pipes had burst! The stench! The filth!!
    That brings me to the Orange Fascist in the US: similar situation: mega sewage burst!

  3. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    It sounds like you need a Hercules to clean up the Augean stables.
    Grey Gardens!! Wonderful how you can find the glove that fits.
    I recognize the shower pitfall, same here. Indeed there is no scent that describes or fits that particular odor. Wear a mouthcap is all I can say. Be glad all the same that you don’t live in plastic white lego or artificial iglo architecture with no furniture and belongings to get wet or spoilt at all!!
    Rough comfort seems all that I can be capable of. But you have my very great sympathy. Also D and the cat. X

    • It’s piffle in the scheme of things I realise – and I feel better today.
      And I do still love the house: at least it has atmosphere and is full of nice things. I am very uncomfortable when there are workmen, plumbers, gasmen, electricians etc inside the house – though necessary it feels like a violation. Still, must be done. I haven’t had a bath for months. Just half baked showers.

  4. I’m sorry to hear that things have been so stressful and even in your own haven too. Yet you still found a way to share beautiful pictures of plum flowers and a “Blackadder the Third”–esque title for your post.

  5. Robin

    Is it horrible to be vastly entertained by this??!!! At the same time I was reading, aghast, at the horror Duncan was experiencing, I was loving things like “The Niagara that was pulsating forth from the open pipe had pushed off his glasses which had fallen down his face, so he was stanching the river blindly; shouting Neil Neil, help me (neither of us had any clue how to turn it off from the mains); instead I just ran out of the house in my thermal underwear and rushed to our landlords, who as I barged into their house unannounced were just sitting down to have dinner – my eyes saw Mr Mitomi take a delicious looking pork chop and place it on a plate of salad, but I was already out the door exclaiming EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY” “. . . poor D, who hates water to begin with – can barely swim, and must wash his hair separately in the shower rather than have water streaming down his face – this was HELL for him . . .” and the aftermath, with him comatose on the couch. Awww!!! My heart went out to both of you AND I was racing to absorb every word. How horrible to have experienced. How fabulous to read!

    Now you’ve whetted our appetites, we are fully prepared for the biggest rant we have ever read. Looking forward to commiserating. Bring it ON.

    • Oh.

      Glad you liked the inherent comedy of this intentionally funny post- writing it and dancing my arse off and watching films on the projector led me to waking up relaxed.

      Can’t go there right now – sitting at home doing marking, calm and mellow like a normal person (like a semi-dormant volcano).

      Ps All plumbing fixed this morning : thank Christ

      • Robin

        We’ll be here when you erupt. Always cathartic. Glad to hear everything is copacetic now, including you.

      • Don’t know that word!

        I hope things are ok au Canada.

        There was some seriously moronic shit going on around me last week which I will delve into later. It’s hard being a combination of emotionally volatile and ruthlessly logical

      • Robin

        God, don’t I know it.

      • Robin

        I didn’t even think about it. We use it all the time. I had to look it up myself, and wiktionary said

        Copacetic is an unusual English language word in that it is one of the few words of unknown origin that is not considered slang in contemporary usage. Its use is found almost exclusively in North America. Its most likely origin comes from African American slang in the late 19th century.

        I am enlightened!

  6. Even though it was a hellish week, crowned with an horrific deluge, at least there was a glimpse of the sublime, by way of plum blossoms.
    I can’t even imagine what I would do with such an abundance of water gushing forth from the tap, it would be the stuff of nightmares. Poor D, I do not blame him for needing to decompress after all of that.
    I do hope both of you will have a much smoother week, and only calm and tranquility. Well, as much calm and tranquility as one can find during these crazy times where it seems the world is self-destructing.
    Looking forward to your cathartic post

  7. I’m sorry, but you have made something so awful sound so funny it gave me a very therapeutic laugh – so thank you Neil. These times are indeed very trying – I work in a hospital so, like you, no curling up safe at home.
    Completely sympathise with Duncan too – can’t bear water on my face in the shower…

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