Yesterday was a complete clusterfuck.
The plumber came out around 8:30 am and started doing some prep work for the repair to the water line, just to double check everything from the day before. Mr. Rooter contracts out heavy labor such as digging and busting concrete out to a third party. The plumber said that team should arriving any moment now. As time went by, he kept making calls.
Three hours later, two guys show up in a pickup truck loaded with all manner of power tools and equipment. Conversations in Spanish ensue (one of those times where I really wish I knew Spanish because I know they were getting reamed for being late). Then the work is explained, and the plumber tells me he’s got a couple of other jobs. The task at hand here will take about two and a half to three more hours, and he’ll be back before they finish.
Truer words were never spoken.
In this time of jackhammers and Tejano music, I learned of the passing of Carrie Fisher. About half an hour later, the jackhammers stopped. The guys are eating lunch, which I was under the assumption they’d done before they showed up seeing as how they were late. But of course I can’t communicate because I don’t speak Spanish. You’d never know I had three years of study between high school and college and lived in a state where it’s practically a second language. FYI, this is one of the many reasons I respect Tolkien’s gift for such things, because I have zero talent for it. It’s just not how my mind works. So… I can’t say anything intelligible, and am really too numb to try anyway.
Around a quarter to three, the plumber comes back. By this point, the work has been in full swing for a while, but they’re not done digging. Go figure. About 4:30, the plumber tells me he needs to make a quick run to Home Depot for a part. I ask him what the odds are that he’ll have the repair finished today as promised, expecting the answer “none.” He tells me that they found the leak, and if it’s the only one, it would be no problem. I said, “That’s not how my world works. Always two, there are. A master, and an apprentice. How long?” He said he and his team would work through the night if I so wanted. Sure, that’d be awesome, but then there’s be cops, and dogs, and guns. “No… let’s stop work around 7 and see where we are,” I tell him. “I’ll go ahead and call the boss, let him know I’ll be out tomorrow.”
His trip to Home Depot is the fastest trip on record, so mad props for that at least. Within the hour, he’s under the foundation of the house, pulling out pipe. Not long after that, he comes in and tells me that, sure enough, there’s another leak about five feet down the pipe. More digging is required. And a lot more money.
He shows me the pipe he excavated, and it’s got corrosion on the inside. Let me offer a six-minute visual aid.
To put this into perspective, my house was bought as a foreclosure in 2009 after sitting on months on the market, so the water lines were stagnant. In addition, whoever put the lines down in the first place back in 1979 did so in such a way that the pipes were basically chewing through one another slowly. Add to that, when the tank ruptured in my face a couple of months back, I was covered in rust, sludge, minerals, and all manner of nastiness, so you can imagine what the inside of that tank looked like. I’m so happy to have this visual aid now attached to the memory of that fateful Saturday. *groan*
The plumber crunches the math. The job is already costing $5100. It’s another $3000 to go the additional five feet to the next leak. The only plus side is that they don’t have to tear up my house to do it. It just means the pile of dirt in the garage where my car should be sitting will get larger.
And that, by the way, means my car sits outside the garage at night, waiting to be broken into. I have, of course, removed anything of value, but the last car I had busted into, they stole the radio and did so much damage to the dashboard that it totalled the car. That was back when I still lived in an apartment and had no garage. Fast forward to today. Have I mentioned this corner of Dallas has an extremely high crime rate and no cops? Yeah. We had a murder around the corner a few days ago. Gunshots are constantly heard, and cars and houses get broken into all the time, all of which have escalated in the last six months due to typical holiday madness and the racial tensions that are offered as the excuse for people to be asshats. I explain this to the plumber to stress that this whole thing needs to be wrapped up by early next week, preferably by the weekend.. That’s the repair, the city code inspection, and the refilling of the hole. The good news here is that I talked with my Dad, and he’s willing to come up and babysit for the inspection and the refill, so I’ll be back at work on Thursday. That’s good, because I had three days of PTO remaining for the year, and I’ve just burned through two of them between yesterday and today.
Based on everything I now know, it also means that I’m very likely going to have to have the rest of the house completely replumbed in the very near future.
I’m told by my family members that depression is merely a state of mind, that I should look on the bright side of life (*cue the Monty Python track*). I’m told I should pull myself up by my bootstraps and soldier on. I’m told that in this free country of ours, I can be anything I want to be. I’m told I’m the sole master of my destiny, that I have options, if only I know where to look.
Uh-huh. Somebody tell me where to look. Somebody grab me forcibly by the neck and push my face into wherever it is I’m supposed to look. Point it out to me in such a way that I cannot possibly mistake it for anything other than an opportunity to improve my quality of life that won’t bite me in the ass in six months. Any dream I’ve ever had has long since been crushed. 20 years of my hopes snuffed out, my heart ripped out, my senses being bombarded, promises broken, assurances, and the incessant whittling away of my spirit have more than devastated my resolve. The hits keep coming. I’ve got mountains of debt already, and seemingly no way out. And Carrie Fisher, a symbol of hope for me if ever there was one… well, I don’t need to spell this out.
As I type this, I’ve got about twenty minutes or so before the plumber and the diggers come back out, presumably to complete the repair. My only saving grace on my nerves right now is that I was able to pop into the next neighborhood over and get a hot shower at Kid Sis’s place last night, which made me feel tons better in the moment. But today is a new day. I am operating under full expectation of being able to have a hot shower in my own house this evening, and again tomorrow morning before work.
Let the games begin.