No agua

On Wednesday, I came home from the dog park, made breakfast, puttered around a bit, then decided to shower at about 9:30 AM. First, I applied a depilatory to my upper lip and planned to shower after removing the cream. After the application, I turned on the sink to rinse the depilatory off my fingers; a trickle of water ran, then stopped. I called the leasing office to find out what the problem was, and they were not aware. As I waited for a return call about the outage, I grabbed the water pitcher from the fridge to use on my hands. The office called back to say there was an emergency shut-off due to a leak, and that I could expect the water to be off for about an hour and a half. I rinsed my face with a washcloth and water from the pitcher and put off showering for a while.

By 4pm, I still had no water. I couldn’t clean my floors. I couldn’t shower. I couldn’t wash my hands. I couldn’t wash dishes, and without running the full dishwasher I couldn’t prepare food. I couldn’t pour myself a glass of water with lunch.

I walked to the leasing office to use the restroom (can’t flush, either) and asked about the status of the leak. They looked into it and called me to say that we’d have low pressure overnight, then no water the next day while the plumber continued the work. “Low pressure” meant barely a trickle–not nearly enough to rinse shampoo from my hair. I hadn’t showered since the previous day, so I was badly in need of one. I got creative.

After dark, I put on my swimsuit and headed to the pool area, which has restrooms and an outdoor shower for rinsing after the pool. I used the toilet, then washed my hair and body (well, the parts that weren’t covered by my modest suit) by the light of the moon. The shower sits in full view of a couple of buildings in my complex (ones that were not affected by the plumbing issue), so I kept it quick. I didn’t shave my legs or use conditioner, lest my neighbors call the police to report a vagrant showering in their pool area.

In the morning, M and I cleaned up camp-style, walking to the remote restrooms to use the toilets and brush our teeth. My obsession with safety came in handy, as we had jugs of bottled water on hand in the garage for drinking and rinsing toothpaste. I’d say this was an emergency worthy of our emergency-kit water. Still, things could have been much worse, I reminded myself.

Water was finally restored at about 5 o’clock on Thursday. I waited to shower, since the water was spurting and spraying everywhere, even several hours after it came back on. Friday is a day of cleaning since I have a guest coming tomorrow and I haven’t cleaned in a few days!


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