26 June 2006

damage control

I tend to sleep rather soundly.

For me, falling asleep is like the cellular process of petrification; It crawls through the tissues of the body in a deep wave, coating all living cells and leaving cool, gray stones. Dreams are a sinister, internal circus that take inspiration from noises outside the body, which explains why alarm-clock radios never work for me. The radio noise simply becomes the soundtrack to the movies under the eyelids...

Not this time. The sudden shock of thunder cut through all that dreamy stuff like a blunt force trauma.
--It was a physical affront to the body, it was IN the face.
--That was close.
--That was much closer.
--Dear Jesus, I think that one shaved my leg.

I've been a fan of storms and harsh weather for ages, and THIS lightning was definitely top-shelf. Far above average for DC, and too intense to let me sleep. Then the waterfall began. No, wait: that's not the sound of rain. That's inside.

Sleepy stumble down the stairs. Shuffle to the source of the noise. Stare in helpless disbelief at the ceiling of the bathroom. Yes, it's like being behind the falls at Niagara. Uh......

And that's when the fun begins: Facing urgent problems like this, after being soundly asleep for several hours, is enough to reduce even the strongest man to gibbering like a rabid monkey. And there was gibbering that night.

Washington DC had entered its heaviest period of rain since the mid '70s. A frontal system had stalled over the eastern states, keeping a group of powerful storms in place like snarling dogs on a short leash. No end in sight for about five days.

And so, a bivouac-on-the-deck project began; a desperate, improvised attempt to keep the water from hitting the back of the deck against the house, and leaking through to the bathroom below. In our sleepy delirium, we ended up using three tarpaulins, a stretch of duct tape, two large ladders, six roofing nails, three large pieces of scrap wall paneling, a large 2x4, three cinder-blocks, and about nine feet of christmas-lights to tie everything down. Eventually we had built something that looked like the play-fort of some psychotic ten year old survivalist gun-crazed commie-hunter.

When one is too sleepy to reason with tools, and scared to death that the bathroom ceiling will come down any minute, the resulting construction will inevitably be over the top. Thus, we had built a mad blue kite and nailed it to the side of the house. Didn't get much sleep that night.

And as of this writing, it's still bloody raining. The play-fort is holding nicely. The indoor waterfall has stopped. And we consider letting it dry out and fixing it ourselves, or throwing money at the problem like any good American is supposed to do.



Oberon said...

.....very nice.....i like the bunnies.

EPOTA said...

Bunnies? What the?!

So I suppose this really explains your lack of email response over the last days. I feel for you, that's for sure. As one who has had a roof collapse and watched water and debris enter a household, I can certainly share in your fears -- and your sleep-induced state of problem-solving measures. Welcome to home ownership. And the feeling of pride that goes with ingenious quick-fix solutions such as your fort system. Well done, my friend!

hawkins said...

...and it's true what they say about their reproductive habits. More bunnies have been spotted on 18th street, which means they're headin' south. By the weekend, Dupont Circle will be a wigglin' stew of bunnies, man...

EPOTA said...

"That rabbit's dynamite... Look at the BONES!!"