The Sound of Water
I've always wanted one of those serenity fountains. You know the kind - maybe there are two small bamboo chutes to guide trickling water from top to bottom or maybe it's a pot with a bunch of rocks and water quietly burbling up in the middle. The only thing that’s kept me from getting one was the thought that various cats in my vicinity might take to drinking aforementioned burbling water, which didn't sound healthy. That and the cost, but it's been on my list of things to get for a while, just as soon as the financial situation got a bit better. Because what could be nicer? The quiet sound of water flowing in the background lending peace to the end of a stressful day. Because you all know how much I like the sound of the ocean and the next best thing would be a wee fountain on a shelf somewhere, right?
In related news, my toilet’s been running for over a week.
Well, that's not entirely true. My toilet’s been kicking up a fuss on and off since the end of June, starting with some trickling noises simmering away, then moving on to running, which was temporarily fixed by a replacement for our building’s regular Super. Which esteemed personage claims to have been attempting to order the necessary part, but has run afoul of the bureaucracy of the housing company. When she finally did get a part two months after the original repair request, it was wrong part and the waiting continued. As there was just mild hissing noises and occasional trickling emanating from the toilet, I didn't care much. Or rather, I have conditioned myself not care much, because that just adds stress and wouldn’t make the alleged implacable bureaucracy move any faster, so it’d be wasted stress.
Last Friday - no, not the Friday last week, the one before that, October 29 - my toilet started running. Quite loudly. In fact, it sounded like a babbling brook had developed in my bathroom, audible everywhere except my bedroom and this was when I discovered that contrary to expectations, having this sound in an apartment well off the ground floor is not conducive to acquiring a sense of serenity. On the contrary - it adds an incredible amount of anxiety and I think I figured out why.
Although my brain knows that the toilet won't overflow, there's part of me that constantly believes it will
There's going to be a flood!
No, the toilet won't overflow. It's okay, that trickling sound you hear is just the water going down that thingy.
There's going to be a flood! I swear, how can anything making that sound not overflow?
It's okay, the toilet is a sort of closed system - not being a plumber, my grasp on the particulars are a bit vague - and it won't flood.
There's going to be a flood!
Take it easy. It's been doing this for months and it hasn't flooded yet, so we're fine.
There's going to be a flood! Can’t you hear it? Why aren't you doing something?? You’re going to wake up with the bed floating just under the ceiling any day now!
Seriously, it's all right. A dozen people have told us it won't overflow, it hasn't overflowed for months, it will be fine. Take a pill, relax and shut up.
There's going to be a flood!!!
And so on. This conversation isn't happening on a conscious level, but going on in a barely perceptible part of my brain more or less constantly. And it's just a tad stressful.
On Wednesday, the Super came by to try to make it shut up temporarily, instead causing the toilet to change from a babbling brook to a constant stream, as if someone were standing over it with an inexhaustible, bottomless watering can and this turned out to be even more nerve-racking. So on Friday, the Super’s day off, I sneakily asked the guy who’d made a temporarily shut up for several weeks this summer to drop by and see if he could do it again. And bless him, he did. Now it only trickles and simmers again and I can only hear that when I'm actually in the bathroom. I was so grateful I even forgave him for calling me 'dear' all the time.
The serenity fountain, however, is off the list.