Treading Water

So, I'm coming home yesterday afternoon, thinking about stuff I'm going to do: Edit photos I took at my sister's wedding, get cracking on my freelance project, pick out some CDs to trade, update the blog, watch the Cavs and the Indians, yadda yadda yadda.

I had my mail held while I was away, and I'm standing just inside my doorway, sorting through it. I sniff the air, thinking, The place smells different. It smells . . . warm.

I realize that smelling a temperature is ridiculous, but I swear that's what I thought. And as I thought about how ridiculous that was, I heard running water.

My first instinct was that the toilet had been running all day, which is annoying but easily fixable. As I'm heading toward the bathroom, I realize that the noise isn't coming from the bathroom; it's coming from the kitchen. The kitchen has a pocket door that I usually keep closed, and I saw wisps of something leaking out the seams.

I thought, Oh no! I left the stove on, and there's a fire! Then I thought, Wait, I haven't been in the kitchen since Wednesday. If something was on fire, the whole building would have burned down by now.

I open the kitchen door, and it's a sauna. The hot water pipe under the sink must have burst, because super-hot water is gushing out all over the floor. Steam clouds are billowing all over the place, and water is condensing on the ceiling. Eek!

I barely had time to notice all this because my glasses immediately fogged up. (I wore my contacts a lot over the long weekend, so I was giving my eyes a rest.) I opened the kitchen window and a window in the dining room to get the steam to clear enough so I could see under the sink. I turned what I guessed was the hot water shutoff valve, and eventually the water stopped. Thank heavens.

It took me about three hours to finish freaking out and start mopping up. My kitchen rugs soaked up some of the water and prevented it from reaching the stove and fridge, but between the sink and the rugs it was pretty wet. I had to pitch any food that was in a cardboard box (crackers, oatmeal, cereal) because the bottom two to three inches was totally soaked. Plus, I had to wipe off the ceiling, the inside of all the cupboards, and all my dishes.

Sigh. At least the landlord seemed nice about it when I called to explain and schedule a plumber.

Of course, then I was forced to spend the rest of the night picking up the place so someone besides me could get in it. Well, I did take a break to watch/listen to most of the Cavs game. Priorities, you know.

Let's see. I had a ton of clothes in a pile in the living room, so I had to lug all those to my bedroom. Then I had a bunch of artsy-craftsy stuff (stamping/scrapbooking supplies; yarn and crochet hooks) I had pulled out and never worked on, so I had to wedge that back in a closet. Ohhh, and the biggie: Picking up all of my CDs and putting them in the racks.

I have some shelving that once upon a time I was going to put up for my DVDs, but in the interest of time, I settled for just stacking those near the TV — especially since I have a bunch of books stacked up next to the bookshelf and a couple of other badly disguised junk piles scattered around the room. So, on a scale of 1 (total disaster area) to 10 (completely presentable), it's maybe a 3. If my mom was coming, I'd have to do another two days of high-intensity cleaning, but since it's just the plumber, I'm closing the door to my room (I didn't say that I put the clothes away, I just dumped them in there.) and hoping that it will be relatively easy to fix the pipe. Keep your fingers crossed.

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