It’s not exactly a swim story, but then again, PP is certain that by the time she finishes writing it, there will be some tie to swimming.
There always is.
You all know that she’s moved into her fabulous ‘cattage’ in El Cerrito, complete with sweet patio garden, cat climbing-up loft and unbeknownst to her, an ‘antique toilet.’
Midnight. (Isn’t it always when some trauma occurs?) The toilet won’t stop running. It won’t flush all the way. The water is swirling swirling in ineffectual spasms.
So what does PP do?
What any long term renter would do given the toilet's obvious ineffectiveness to shut up and suck up. Take off the tank lid and try to fiddle around with the stupid floaty ball thing in order to make the suction-up thing stop sucking.
So she does this. Takes off the lid. Carefully. It’s heavy. Very heavy. And a lovely mustardy golden color ("Appropriate color," says JL when she first used the bathroom) As PP lifts the lid from the toilet a gush of water cascades onto her bare feet. Shit. (No pun intended.)
It’s a mess. Water everywhere. The whirling mechanisms inside the tank are sputtering and sizzling. Like there’s some sort of angry snake inside the tank. Hey, here’s the swimming connection. There’s a mischievous toilet tank snake (not unlike the sinister Black Lake Snake from Indiana) that is sabotaging the equipment from swimming around and around, wrapping its slinky slimy snaky body round the toilet tank's equipment.
Of course, there isn’t really a snake. But there is something Evil afloat as she endeavors to stop the goddamn hissing floating ball thingee from its running water frenzy.
She’s leaned the heavy wet lid against the bathroom door. Careful not to drop it or break it. Knows that it’s a special lid even then. The bathroom is small and crowded as everything but the shower is at the cattage.
Speaking of which, Pablo, the Big White Trouble Maker Cat starts to meow at the bathroom door to see what’s up. Or use the box. Or lick the water off the floor. Or cause general cat mayhem.
Which he does.
“Meow meeeowww meeowww!” he demands.
“Okay, Pab, just a minute,” she answers, frazzled by the hissing toilet snake.
She turns and opens the door for him just a crack. But this is enough to send the heavy toilet tank lid sliding down the wall and crashing to the floor, shattering into a dozen pieces.
It is astounding how much damage one broken toilet tank lid can cause. Not only did the lid itself break into irreparable pieces, but it also broke Pablo’s blue water bowl into a half a dozen pieces and sprayed the entire door half of the bathroom with water and bits of porcelain.
PP stares in disbelief before bursting into tears, leaning against the sink in a traumatized mess.
How the hell did this happen? How did she let it happen? She’d never done anything like this before. It was just horrible. She’d only been here at the cattage for 3 days and already she was trashing the place.
Shit. (Pun intended)
Pablo sat down and blinked up at her. “Meow?”
“Fuck you, Pablo! Look what you’ve done!” she hollers as he scurries away.
In tears she begins to clean up the mess, carefully scooping up the shards of golden porcelain into a big garbage bag. They cut right through it. Damn. What the hell was she gonna do? It was such a mess.
The landlord was gonna kill her.
Or evict her.
Or yell at her.
(PP has Landlord PTSD from her previous landlord yelling at her about her asking him to fix her broken heater. And this hadn’t even been her fault. What would this new landlord do upon learning of her incredible toilet tank lid clumsiness?)
Walking out into the moonlit yard to find a box to put the shards into, she spies her landlady standing in moony light with her little dogs. “OH, K. You’re not gonna believe this,” PP manages to speak without crying. “I tried to fix the running toilet and broke the lid and….”
K shakes her head. “I told C that it was broken. He should have fixed it. Don’t worry about it.”
Dubious, PP manages a halfhearted smile, “Okay, yeah….well, I’ll just call him in the morning and tell him about it…”
Finding a hello kitty plastic shopping bag, PP wanders back into the cattage to collect the shards and thinks, Okay. Yes. If the landlord had fixed the toilet before she moved in, she never would have had to take the lid off in the first place and then it wouldn’t have slipped off the wall and shattered into pieces.
Oh, helpful Readers! What do you all think?
A) Does PP owe the Landlord a new toilet?
B) Should she try to find another ‘antique’ lid to replace it? (The landlord the next morning had made a point of saying that he wouldn’t be able to replace it. To find the same color. That it was an ‘antique’.)
C) Or should she just take K's advice and not worry about it? Breaking the lid was an accident (or a Pablocent)
Shit shit shit.
Or as the mischievous tank swimming snake would say, “Hissssssssss!”
PP does feel better today.
And of course, she's had a swim.
This always brings any trauma back into perspective. At least while she's in the pool. Just keep the cats and toilets out of her way!