Well, I thought I’d feel better better if I let loose with a loud scream. It didn’t help. I feel like screaming, I feel like crying, I feel like yelling at somebody. I feel like I have PMS, but I don’t. (Although I still P, I haven’t M’d or S’d in about 20 years.)
This was supposed to be a good week. My boss is on vacation. On Monday and Tuesday, before he left, we caught up on everything urgent. I expected the remainder of the week to consist of calm, mellow days in which I could work on a few ongoing projects at an unstressful pace. Hah! Was that ever wishful thinking!
First of all, I’ve been dealing with toilet issues at work for more than two weeks. I don’t think I ever saw either of my husbands as much as I’ve seen the landlord and the plumber lately. I'm tired of seeing them, and I'm tired of talking about the damn toilet.
They’ve replaced all the guts inside the toilet. They’ve pronounced it “fixed” and “that ought to do it” and “it’s good to go now, heh-heh” practically every other day. And then I use it and flush it, and the next time I go back in there, there’s water on the floor. I call the landlord to report that it’s still leaking, he runs over and turns the water off, making the toilet unusable, and I wait two days for the plumber to come again.
During those wait-for-the-plumber days, my option is to hold it (not the easiest thing for a 64-year-old woman to do) or to use my boss’s toilet. His toilet sits in a closet-sized bathroom built inside his office, about 12 feet from his desk. There’s no way I’m using that one while he’s in the building.
This week, though, while he’s out of town, I thought I’d have easy access to at least one working toilet. Today I used his bathroom before lunch, after they’d fixed/unfixed and turned off the water to mine again. In the middle of the afternoon, I went in there a second time. I opened the door and stepped into water. It seems his toilet leaks now, too.
I was supposed to be off work this afternoon, but I made the mistake of answering the phone one more time before leaving and didn’t get away until four o’clock. The afternoon was filled with client emergencies, the unexpected crises that seem to come up only on Fridays and rarely have easy resolutions. There was little I could do except listen. I listened and listened, made a few phone calls, clucked my tongue and offered encouragement until I was at my wit’s end. My empathy reservoir has been drained completely dry.
All the way home, in crazy traffic, I fought back tears of frustration (I can throw one heck of a pity party if I put my mind to it). I can’t adequately express the joy and relief I felt when I pulled into my driveway. Home, I thought. Peace. Quiet. Calm. Wrong.
I opened the car door and was blasted by LOUD, LOUD NOISE. So loud that it’s too loud even inside the house. Outside, it’s earsplitting. Apparently, my neighbor two doors down, he who has periodically assaulted the rest of us with extreme drumming for the past six months, has recently begun hosting practice for his wannabe (butneverwillbe) heavy metal band. I don’t want to be the neighbor who calls the cops, but I’m really hoping there’s a cop-calling kind of neighbor nearby. It's driving me insane.
I feel like screaming, I feel like crying, I feel like yelling at somebody. I feel like I have PMS, but I don’t. If only it were that simple.