osmie: (Default)
CANTO VI

My cast of characters expands from here,
and so, for anonymity, I fear
I must resort to nineteenth-century
initials: K___ and J___ and G___ and G___
and many others.

— — — — — K___ the plumber knocked
on January 2nd. I unlocked
the door, beckoned him in, and summarized
the narrative to date. "What was the size
of the affected area?" he asked.
My memory wasn't equal to the task--
"About yay big?" -- and anyway we ought
to see the flood in action. All the rot
below the floor had now begun to stink:
it couldn't get much worse to drain the sink.

(An editorial parenthesis,
because this post is public: 'twas remiss
of me -- remiss! -- not to have learned to tell
"rotten" from "mouldy," at least not by smell,
before the tribulations here recorded.
The difference proved significant. Assorted
mouldy things can grow in days and weeks,
but it takes months for rot to start to reek.
I'm overjoyed to say there wasn't time,
and in the end there was no rot to find.)

Back upstairs, I turned on the water main
and filled both sinks. K___ shouted, "Now!" The drain
began to gurgle, and I heard him say,
"Wow, that's just everywhere." The water played
up from between the floorboards, seeped below
the moulding on the southwest wall, and slow
as honey crept beneath the furniture.
No outward sign showed where the leak occurred,
and so K___ leaned against the wall and listened
for any remnant dripping from the kitchen.

"I think it's somewhere here," he said at last,
pointing towards a corner. "But a vast
amount of drywall has to come out if
I'm going to reach it. Two big guys can lift
it down, so if you like I'll call for backup,
but you might find it cheaper just to pack up
everything in here and call your agent
for insurance. This needs restoration."

"Insurance? But our policy excludes
envelope failure," I began to brood,
rehearsing the same speech I'd told, morose,
a dozen times ... before we diagnosed
the leak as coming from inside! "Oh my,"
I said. "Of course! Insurance!" Quickly I
retrieved my policy, and quickly scanned
the coverage for water damage.

— — — — — — — — — "And...?"
said K___.

— — "I think we're covered."

— — — — — — — "Great! So call,
and get restorers to take down that wall.
Call me back when they're done; I'll come back then
to fix your pipes. And that should be the end."
osmie: (Default)
CANTO VI

My cast of characters expands from here,
and so, for anonymity, I fear
I must resort to nineteenth-century
initials: K___ and J___ and G___ and G___
and many others.

— — — — — K___ the plumber knocked
on January 2nd. I unlocked
the door, beckoned him in, and summarized
the narrative to date. "What was the size
of the affected area?" he asked.
My memory wasn't equal to the task--
"About yay big?" -- and anyway we ought
to see the flood in action. All the rot
below the floor had now begun to stink:
it couldn't get much worse to drain the sink.

(An editorial parenthesis,
because this post is public: 'twas remiss
of me -- remiss! -- not to have learned to tell
"rotten" from "mouldy," at least not by smell,
before the tribulations here recorded.
The difference proved significant. Assorted
mouldy things can grow in days and weeks,
but it takes months for rot to start to reek.
I'm overjoyed to say there wasn't time,
and in the end there was no rot to find.)

Back upstairs, I turned on the water main
and filled both sinks. K___ shouted, "Now!" The drain
began to gurgle, and I heard him say,
"Wow, that's just everywhere." The water played
up from between the floorboards, seeped below
the moulding on the southwest wall, and slow
as honey crept beneath the furniture.
No outward sign showed where the leak occurred,
and so K___ leaned against the wall and listened
for any remnant dripping from the kitchen.

"I think it's somewhere here," he said at last,
pointing towards a corner. "But a vast
amount of drywall has to come out if
I'm going to reach it. Two big guys can lift
it down, so if you like I'll call for backup,
but you might find it cheaper just to pack up
everything in here and call your agent
for insurance. This needs restoration."

"Insurance? But our policy excludes
envelope failure," I began to brood,
rehearsing the same speech I'd told, morose,
a dozen times ... before we diagnosed
the leak as coming from inside! "Oh my,"
I said. "Of course! Insurance!" Quickly I
retrieved my policy, and quickly scanned
the coverage for water damage.

— — — — — — — — — "And...?"
said K___.

— — "I think we're covered."

— — — — — — — "Great! So call,
and get restorers to take down that wall.
Call me back when they're done; I'll come back then
to fix your pipes. And that should be the end."
osmie: (Default)
CANTO V

The snow fell thicker, sealing us in white
abstraction. Now accustomed to the sight
of water on the floor, we found as well
the traces of a subtle moldy smell.
Sight, smell: we didn't taste, but tried to hear
whence all this basement water might appear.

On Christmas morning, [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn shouted, "Stop!
I heard some gurgling behind the top
of G12's wall. What were you doing there?"
Well, I'd been washing all our kitchenware.
The obvious experiment would be
to fill both sinks to their capacity,
and so we switched: [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn upstairs, me down
to watch for signs of water on the ground.
"Ready?" she called. "Ready," I shouted back,
and instantly the floor gave way to brack:
enough to drench both towels where I stood,
and soak my socks.

— — — — A breath.

— — — — — — Well, this was good,
all things considered. Finally we knew
something of where the problem lay. It's true
we'd paid almost two hundred dollars for
a plumber to reach down beneath our floor
and clear some muck that wasn't in the way,
but maybe we'd have needed it someday.
I turned off all the water to the kitchen
and wrote a note prohibiting all pitching
of water down the sink. Our laundry tub
would have to be our new dishwashing hub.

I called the plumbers, sharing our new theory.
They sounded optimistic, even cheery,
and told me that a plumbing specialist
would certainly be able to assist
on January 2nd, as requested.
Only another week would we be tested.
osmie: (Default)
CANTO V

The snow fell thicker, sealing us in white
abstraction. Now accustomed to the sight
of water on the floor, we found as well
the traces of a subtle moldy smell.
Sight, smell: we didn't taste, but tried to hear
whence all this basement water might appear.

On Christmas morning, [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn shouted, "Stop!
I heard some gurgling behind the top
of G12's wall. What were you doing there?"
Well, I'd been washing all our kitchenware.
The obvious experiment would be
to fill both sinks to their capacity,
and so we switched: [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn upstairs, me down
to watch for signs of water on the ground.
"Ready?" she called. "Ready," I shouted back,
and instantly the floor gave way to brack:
enough to drench both towels where I stood,
and soak my socks.

— — — — A breath.

— — — — — — Well, this was good,
all things considered. Finally we knew
something of where the problem lay. It's true
we'd paid almost two hundred dollars for
a plumber to reach down beneath our floor
and clear some muck that wasn't in the way,
but maybe we'd have needed it someday.
I turned off all the water to the kitchen
and wrote a note prohibiting all pitching
of water down the sink. Our laundry tub
would have to be our new dishwashing hub.

I called the plumbers, sharing our new theory.
They sounded optimistic, even cheery,
and told me that a plumbing specialist
would certainly be able to assist
on January 2nd, as requested.
Only another week would we be tested.
osmie: (Default)
CANTO III

Next week the weather turned to prairie cold.
Pipes froze across Vancouver. Faithful, bold,
true plumbers of the land worked overtime
to keep our houses dry and free of slime.
We watched the floor, and worried that the snow
might overwhelm our drainpipes even so.

"We've water problems," [livejournal.com profile] koppermoon declared
some hours before our Solstice party. "There's
too much in G12's room, too little in
the washing machine." All it did was spin,
but whiningly and dry. We broke the glue
that held its hoses on, tried to unscrew
them from the taps but failed. Seeing red,
we pulled them from the intake valve instead,
and learned the tap marked HOT was frozen shut.
We tried a cold wash: nothing. Perhaps what
began as frozen pipes had now become
a broken intake valve? We'd have to run
our washing in the laundry tub until
the weather warmed.

— — — — Meanwhile, there was a spill
on G12's floor, right where the flood had been.
The laminate was buckling. A sheen
of water on the floor dripped from the gap
between two boards as though it were a tap.
It wasn't just the sump that needed fixing,
but our entire subfloor drainage system.

O, the expense! And then [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn disclosed
one radiator pipe had also froze.
The north side of our basement had no heat.
We sighed -- we had no panic left -- and beat
the fires back of party preparation.
These holidays would not hold much vacation.

---

CANTO IV

On Thursdays and on Fridays I'm at home
to meet contractors. Now I fear my poem
must imitate a calendar, and say
that Christmas fell on Thursday, Boxing Day
on Friday, and the New Year Thursday next.
Three holidays for three days off! Quite vexed,
I tried to book a plumber for the 2nd...
but the receptionist honestly reckoned
that flooding and emergencies might take
the whole day to resolve. She couldn't make
a promise anybody would be free.
I took this forecast somewhat grudgingly.

Both [livejournal.com profile] koppermoon and I discussed with friends
what plumbing tips we might use to defend
our house from further damage in the snow.
I turned all the hot water taps on low
to warm the wall which held our frozen pipes,
and suddenly was struck by insight. Cripes,
the folks who did our renovations got
a lot of things quite backward: what if HOT
emblazoned on the washer pipe tenfold,
connected to a bright red tap, meant "cold,"
and unadorned meant "hot"? I checked the water,
and sure enough, the green cold tap was hotter.
I switched the hoses, and the valve worked fine.

That afternoon, our radiator line
unfroze without a flood, its PVC
compressing and expanding flawlessly.
By Tuesday afternoon, the 23rd,
our second frozen pipe thaw had occurred,
with no more complications than the first.
Two pipes had frozen. Neither one had burst.
osmie: (Default)
CANTO III

Next week the weather turned to prairie cold.
Pipes froze across Vancouver. Faithful, bold,
true plumbers of the land worked overtime
to keep our houses dry and free of slime.
We watched the floor, and worried that the snow
might overwhelm our drainpipes even so.

"We've water problems," [livejournal.com profile] koppermoon declared
some hours before our Solstice party. "There's
too much in G12's room, too little in
the washing machine." All it did was spin,
but whiningly and dry. We broke the glue
that held its hoses on, tried to unscrew
them from the taps but failed. Seeing red,
we pulled them from the intake valve instead,
and learned the tap marked HOT was frozen shut.
We tried a cold wash: nothing. Perhaps what
began as frozen pipes had now become
a broken intake valve? We'd have to run
our washing in the laundry tub until
the weather warmed.

— — — — Meanwhile, there was a spill
on G12's floor, right where the flood had been.
The laminate was buckling. A sheen
of water on the floor dripped from the gap
between two boards as though it were a tap.
It wasn't just the sump that needed fixing,
but our entire subfloor drainage system.

O, the expense! And then [livejournal.com profile] rilwyn disclosed
one radiator pipe had also froze.
The north side of our basement had no heat.
We sighed -- we had no panic left -- and beat
the fires back of party preparation.
These holidays would not hold much vacation.

---

CANTO IV

On Thursdays and on Fridays I'm at home
to meet contractors. Now I fear my poem
must imitate a calendar, and say
that Christmas fell on Thursday, Boxing Day
on Friday, and the New Year Thursday next.
Three holidays for three days off! Quite vexed,
I tried to book a plumber for the 2nd...
but the receptionist honestly reckoned
that flooding and emergencies might take
the whole day to resolve. She couldn't make
a promise anybody would be free.
I took this forecast somewhat grudgingly.

Both [livejournal.com profile] koppermoon and I discussed with friends
what plumbing tips we might use to defend
our house from further damage in the snow.
I turned all the hot water taps on low
to warm the wall which held our frozen pipes,
and suddenly was struck by insight. Cripes,
the folks who did our renovations got
a lot of things quite backward: what if HOT
emblazoned on the washer pipe tenfold,
connected to a bright red tap, meant "cold,"
and unadorned meant "hot"? I checked the water,
and sure enough, the green cold tap was hotter.
I switched the hoses, and the valve worked fine.

That afternoon, our radiator line
unfroze without a flood, its PVC
compressing and expanding flawlessly.
By Tuesday afternoon, the 23rd,
our second frozen pipe thaw had occurred,
with no more complications than the first.
Two pipes had frozen. Neither one had burst.
osmie: (Default)
CANTO I

Pray, Muse, assist! Pray, audience, attend!
For I would write a story without end
in sight, of waters grey and waters clear.

November 28th of this past year,
a Saturday, I walked downstairs to read
my son to sleep. I settled by his feet
and picked up Treasure Island from the ledge,
and dangled both my own feet off the edge
into a pile of laundry on the floor.

"Oh, gross," I said. "G12, I've told you more
than I can count: when stepping from the bath,
you've got to hang your towels! Do the math!
Wet laundry molds; you'll have to wash more often;
and mold in general just sets you coughing.
I think we've caught it just in time, but ewww.
This sleeping bag is sopping! Help me, do."

We toted the wet clothes across the hall,
and realized the water wasn't all
explained. The lowest clothes were wetter still:
it wasn't a bath towel, but a spill --
perhaps inside a moving box? -- which dumped
two litres here. Unless it was the sump.
Or, worse, perhaps the envelope was breached!
I raced outside: the pavement didn't reach
quite to the wall. Five millimetres gaped
between them, open space, a cavernscape!
Who knew the damage drainage might have wreaked?

I breathed a bit. If anything had leaked
from outside or below, it would recur,
and watching steadily, we might infer
its source. Conversely, if we'd just upended
some watering can, our troubles now were tended.
We'd watch awhile. My worries grew more silent.
G12 and I returned to Treasure Island.

---

CANTO II

By Monday there was water on the floor.
We mopped and swapped out towels, and the chore
of lifting all G12's belongings up
on risers fell to me. I guessed a cup
or so of water, thinly spread, had seeped
up from the floorboards. Outside water. Bleep.
I booked a plumber to come check it out,
hoping it was the sump, but still in doubt.

He came on Friday -- that's December 4th.
He lifted up the panel at the north
end of our basement, and the subfloor, and
the three thick boards below them. One gloved hand
reached down into the muck to feel for piping,
and then he smiled. "See here," happily griping,
"this backflow valve is blocked! Your sewer vent
is flowing maybe 25%
of full capacity, and so your drains
back up into the basement when it rains."
He reached inside again and pulled out glops
of mud. The water level slowly dropped.
"And there you go," he said. No hesitation.
"You won't need any more remediation."

I paid him his one hundred eighty-nine,
and bade him health, relieved our house was fine.
osmie: (Default)
CANTO I

Pray, Muse, assist! Pray, audience, attend!
For I would write a story without end
in sight, of waters grey and waters clear.

November 28th of this past year,
a Saturday, I walked downstairs to read
my son to sleep. I settled by his feet
and picked up Treasure Island from the ledge,
and dangled both my own feet off the edge
into a pile of laundry on the floor.

"Oh, gross," I said. "G12, I've told you more
than I can count: when stepping from the bath,
you've got to hang your towels! Do the math!
Wet laundry molds; you'll have to wash more often;
and mold in general just sets you coughing.
I think we've caught it just in time, but ewww.
This sleeping bag is sopping! Help me, do."

We toted the wet clothes across the hall,
and realized the water wasn't all
explained. The lowest clothes were wetter still:
it wasn't a bath towel, but a spill --
perhaps inside a moving box? -- which dumped
two litres here. Unless it was the sump.
Or, worse, perhaps the envelope was breached!
I raced outside: the pavement didn't reach
quite to the wall. Five millimetres gaped
between them, open space, a cavernscape!
Who knew the damage drainage might have wreaked?

I breathed a bit. If anything had leaked
from outside or below, it would recur,
and watching steadily, we might infer
its source. Conversely, if we'd just upended
some watering can, our troubles now were tended.
We'd watch awhile. My worries grew more silent.
G12 and I returned to Treasure Island.

---

CANTO II

By Monday there was water on the floor.
We mopped and swapped out towels, and the chore
of lifting all G12's belongings up
on risers fell to me. I guessed a cup
or so of water, thinly spread, had seeped
up from the floorboards. Outside water. Bleep.
I booked a plumber to come check it out,
hoping it was the sump, but still in doubt.

He came on Friday -- that's December 4th.
He lifted up the panel at the north
end of our basement, and the subfloor, and
the three thick boards below them. One gloved hand
reached down into the muck to feel for piping,
and then he smiled. "See here," happily griping,
"this backflow valve is blocked! Your sewer vent
is flowing maybe 25%
of full capacity, and so your drains
back up into the basement when it rains."
He reached inside again and pulled out glops
of mud. The water level slowly dropped.
"And there you go," he said. No hesitation.
"You won't need any more remediation."

I paid him his one hundred eighty-nine,
and bade him health, relieved our house was fine.
osmie: (Default)
Oh, we're packing and we're moving,
And I wonder what we're proving
When I haven't slept a peaceful night in weeks.
And my half-destroyed apartment
Has disturbed my cats' deportment--
They're pissing in the garbage can, at least.
And every box that I can muster
Fills so quickly full of clutter
While the tiny tinny speaker tries to play,
And I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside,
But I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day.

Yeah, I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside
Where I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day.

Oh, the clock is ticking midnight
And I'm waiting for an insight
That'll spur me into toss-and-turning bed.
And I know I should be going
'Cause my frontal lobe is slowing,
But I'm filking Leonard Cohen songs instead.
So I spend another hour
And defend the desktop tower;
I'm the queen of all the boxes I survey.
And I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day.

Yes, I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day.

I liked it on the website,
So I took a detour late one night
And gasped at such an ugly shade of blue--
And I wouldn't have gone back at all
If my roommate hadn't made the call,
Declaring (declaring!) declaring its interior would do.
And we loved the place when we saw it next,
So we bought it for a pile of debt,
And now there's nothing left to do but pay.
And I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret.
I feel like a grown-up but I can't be yet--
I'm only thirty-nine! I bet
It's closing day.

Yeah, I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret.
I feel like a grown-up but I can't be yet--
I'm only thirty-nine except
On closing day.

Yeah, we're packing and we're moving,
And the hour is behooving me
To get myself some sleep before I croak,
And my half-destroyed apartment
Will be stored in neat compartments
By tomorrow, if a miracle can cope.
'Cause the offer's signed and the subjects gone
And the lawyers paid and the mortgage on
And the title changes ownership today.
Or so I'm told, and I guess it's true,
And I'll soon have a house to replace this zoo,
But it really is an awful hue
Of greenish bathroom cleanser blue
(Greenish bathroom cleanser blue!)
On closing day.

And I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside
On closing day...
But I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day...

And I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state,
On closing day...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day...

And we loved the place when we saw it next,
So we bought it for a pile of debt
On closing day...
And I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret
On closing day...
osmie: (Default)
Oh, we're packing and we're moving,
And I wonder what we're proving
When I haven't slept a peaceful night in weeks.
And my half-destroyed apartment
Has disturbed my cats' deportment--
They're pissing in the garbage can, at least.
And every box that I can muster
Fills so quickly full of clutter
While the tiny tinny speaker tries to play,
And I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside,
But I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day.

Yeah, I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside
Where I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day.

Oh, the clock is ticking midnight
And I'm waiting for an insight
That'll spur me into toss-and-turning bed.
And I know I should be going
'Cause my frontal lobe is slowing,
But I'm filking Leonard Cohen songs instead.
So I spend another hour
And defend the desktop tower;
I'm the queen of all the boxes I survey.
And I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day.

Yes, I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day.

I liked it on the website,
So I took a detour late one night
And gasped at such an ugly shade of blue--
And I wouldn't have gone back at all
If my roommate hadn't made the call,
Declaring (declaring!) declaring its interior would do.
And we loved the place when we saw it next,
So we bought it for a pile of debt,
And now there's nothing left to do but pay.
And I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret.
I feel like a grown-up but I can't be yet--
I'm only thirty-nine! I bet
It's closing day.

Yeah, I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret.
I feel like a grown-up but I can't be yet--
I'm only thirty-nine except
On closing day.

Yeah, we're packing and we're moving,
And the hour is behooving me
To get myself some sleep before I croak,
And my half-destroyed apartment
Will be stored in neat compartments
By tomorrow, if a miracle can cope.
'Cause the offer's signed and the subjects gone
And the lawyers paid and the mortgage on
And the title changes ownership today.
Or so I'm told, and I guess it's true,
And I'll soon have a house to replace this zoo,
But it really is an awful hue
Of greenish bathroom cleanser blue
(Greenish bathroom cleanser blue!)
On closing day.

And I don't expect a big surprise
From the house or the yard or the space inside
On closing day...
But I just can't wait to run and hide
Since we got our mortgage notarized
For closing day...

And I swear I could procrastinate
An hour, a week, a steady state,
On closing day...
The movers come in forty-eight.
October wouldn't be too late
For closing day...

And we loved the place when we saw it next,
So we bought it for a pile of debt
On closing day...
And I guess I'm glad the deal was set,
But I'm scared enough to fuss and fret
On closing day...

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