There’s never really a good time to discover that the water in your apartment building isn’t working. But the absolute worst time has to be in the middle of a shower still covered in soap.
I do partly blame myself. I dawdled around the apartment after my walk yesterday, and could have been in and out of the shower and dressed before the calamity hit. What can I say, the end of The Godfather was on AMC. I had plenty of time to be where I was supposed to be later that afternoon, so why not spend some time watching Michael set things right for Sonny’s murder? Anyway, I’m Italian. It’s required. Besides, I don’t exactly schedule my ablutions around possible utility outages. Otherwise I’d be running around here like the Flash every morning in mortal fear the power would go out before I finished shaving.
Regardless, there I was, all a-suds and wondering why the water pressure was slowly getting worse. At this point, I should have kept my head about me and quickly rinsed off. But no. I started fiddling with the shower head, thinking I’d somehow turned it to some lower setting. Then I shut it off and turned it back on again, by which point there wasn’t enough water pressure to go up to the shower. This is when common sense finally kicked in, and I started scooping handfuls of water over my head trying to clean myself off. Alas, the flow of water dwindled faster than my scooping efforts. I was now standing in a silent shower with about a third of me still covered in soap.
Now, despite the ample evidence in front of me, I refused to accept the reality of the situation. I dabbed myself as dry as I could and tried the bathroom sink. Nothing. So, naturally, I tried the kitchen sink. That made some hopeful gurgling sounds, but ultimately proved as dry as every other water source. I still needed to shave and brush my teeth, not to mention I hadn’t exactly washed my hair and body as well as I could have, and there was soap residue clinging to me. And I was now about half an hour away from needing to leave to be where I was supposed to be later.
This is where I have to credit a combination of hurricane over-preparedness and complete forgetfulness. Because it was in this dark moment that I remembered I had a three liter jug of Zephyrhills water gathering dust on a shelf in the laundry room. I’d purchased it for one pending disaster or another, ended up not needing, and promptly left it to languish in the dark above the washing machine. Now it was my lifesaver. I managed to fill the sink twice to brush my teeth and shave. Then, I got back in the shower and proceeded to dump about two liters of water over my head. It wasn’t perfect, and it was cold as hell, but it was progress, and with the clock ticking, I’d take it.
I got dressed and felt absolutely scuzzy. I was washed, but not clean. I was about to subject four other people to my slovenly state, and wanted to do nothing more than scratch myself all over. But time was nearly out. I had to get going or I’d be late. So I sucked it up and convinced myself that I’d put on enough deodorant to mask the worst of it.
Which is when I heard a prodigious gurgle come from the kitchen sink. I raced up to it and turned it on, and was greeted with a sporadic trickle that strengthened into what could charitably called a steady leak. I dashed into the bathroom to try the shower, and it sprang to life with a more vigorous flow. That was all I needed. I got undressed, jumped in the shower, and gave myself a proper wash. And oh it was good. The water pressure got a little stronger, not quite pre-crisis level, but enough. I’ve never been so happy to rinse soap off myself in my entire life.
In the end, I got where I was going a little early, didn’t feel incredibly self-conscious, and had a really good time. With nothing lost except one brave jug of water, to whom I am eternally grateful. Now to hope the power doesn’t go out before I fini