If you’re one of my Facebook friends, you might be aware of the river of shit that is slowly seeping into my apartment. On the night of Christmas, my toilets started to bubble a little bit. By the morning of Boxing Day, my bathtub had a few inches of sewage, a tampon was floating in one of my bathrooms, and a chunk of my carpet was wet. I called maintenance and they sent in some plumbers. By the time the plumbers had arrived, one of my bathrooms had seriously overflowed and was covered in shit. Then the plumbers came and did some stuff and inserted their “snake” into the “clean out” and the result, after two hours, was that they didn’t manage to unclog the drain, but they had somehow smeared shit all over my office. As you can see, the shit even flecked my laundry bag.
Anyways, a company came in and did some cleaning last night, so most of that shit is gone. But my apartment is still slowly filling up with sewage water. It seeped into the carpet of my bedroom too. Apparently the problem is on the city’s side or something. People have been in and out all day, trying to fix it. Water’s been sucked out of my bathtub and carpet numerous times; apparently whenever someone in this complex uses their toilet or sink or bathtub or shower, it all drains into my bathtub, since that’s the lowest outlet in the building (I live in the basement).
But the point of this entry is that it’s all under control. The maintenance people are doing their maintenance. I’m flying to India tomorrow and, hopefully, it will be done by then. I’ve talked to the property management company about being compensated for dry-cleaning my clothes. And I am aware of the health issues involved in living with sewage water: I’m not going to spend a second night in this apartment. This is my second flood in this apartment, and I am a little wary of more flooding while I’m gone, but the maintenance person said he’d enter my apartment and check it out if there are any more storms.
I’m, surprisingly, not that worried about it. You know, when I was little, my parents always seemed so competent. Whenever anything went wrong, they handled it. But as I grew up and watched the adults around me complain about stuff, I kind of figured that the competence was a facade. I figured that everyone stresses out about everything all the time, and the cool face is just an act that they put on so the kids won’t freak out.
However, I’m coming to realize that’s not the case. Like…yeah, I can pretty much handle life’s minor emergencies. If this place becomes a disaster and I need to try to wriggle out of my lease or move, then I’ll do it. If my possessions are destroyed, then I can live without them or replace them. I’m not saying I’m ultracompetent or anything. I’m just saying that I feel like an adult.
It’s more than just being able to do things. It’s also not worrying about them. Yesterday, after all the plumbers left, I wrote 2000 words. Today I woke up, checked my carpets and drains, called the property office, booked my cab for tomorrow’s flight, and did my laundry. This kind of stuff isn’t hampering my ability to function.
Err…I feel like I’m really overstating my own maturity. Obviously, most of the work is being done by the property management agency. And I’m also not living paycheck to paycheck, so the prospect of minor financial issues doesn’t unsettle me too much. But, still, there’ve definitely been times in my life when much more minor problems practically unhinged me with anxiety. For instance, two years ago, I almost threw my phone at the wall after I spent an hour trying to get Bank of America to put that little notation in their system that says, “This guy is travelling abroad; please don’t cancel his card.” Whereas for the past two months, I’ve cheerfully spent hours upon hours dealing with the Government of India’s insane bureaucracy for getting various visas and passport stamps.
Someday, something will happen that will tax my ability to cope and drive me crazy with anxiety. But, hopefully, from now on I’ll be able to deal with anything up to and including a literal flood of shit.