I woke up this morning, remembered I still didn’t have water, and I wished I were Betty Draper. I imagined myself married to a rich man, rolling over and ringing the bell for the maid. But water would soon be restored! After three trips to the water department, I had paid the back bill my landlord left behind and set myself up as the new Owner of Water.
Then, a series of unfortunate events. My dear mother waiting for the water guy, me forgetting to leave the mansion door open, the water guy confused about which house had canceled on him, and finally: the broken pipe in the mansion basement that made the water guy shake his head.
(Don’t get upset yet. My fabulous party’s still on. If you know what I would do for a Mickey bar at EPCOT, then you know I’m going to have this party, even if I have to walk all the way across the world twice, and make my sisters and brother come with me. Worst case scenario, we’ll bring in some water to flush those beautiful toilets, and some to rehydrate your beautiful bodies from whatever you’ve done. It takes a little over 2 gallons to flush a toilet. I know that kind of thing now, because I’m awesome.)
The water runs through the mansion to the carriage house, so if we can’t turn on mansion water, the servants (that is, me, being the only remaining servant and the servant of all these structures and utilities and the ghost of George Myers), well, they aint getting no water if the master aint got no water.
My mother called and told me this, and I wanted to beat my head against the wall, or jump off a bridge (I would never actually jump off a bridge, I just like the word “jump” when I’m losing it). Fortunately, I had to walk back into my classroom and talk about the Puritans and refuse to reveal why they came to America no matter how long my students said they didn’t know. Everyone came up with it. I just had to sit there a while. I didn’t scream at anyone, although I really wanted to, and they were right there, and I could have.
I got rid of all those darn kids, and I made a list of things to do instead of beating my head against the wall, although that still sounded appealing. Two hundred to the gas company, running to be home for the turn-on, three trips to the water department and $500– how could I give up, so close to the finish line?
Before I do anything, I should call my dad with any practical matter. Although his advice is quite expensive, I get it free. He gave me a phone number. Five minutes later, I had a guy who works for a guy coming out to check on the pipes and advise me about weatherproofing the mansion for the duration. Yes, he’d be happy to help.
I don’t even know if George Myers was the kind of guy who gave a damn about his house. Did he care about the way it looked? Was he like my great-grandmother, so unsentimental that she suggested her home of sixty years be torn down when she died? I mean, I care about one of the oldest architect-designed homes in Hyde Park, built of local stone, but maybe it was just a house to him.
I know he liked fishing and hot air ballooning (more on that at the party), but I have found no record of his aesthetic sense, or lack thereof. He has no known ties to the arts.
I did look at apartments on craigslist, which is the first step in me visualizing moving. Hmmm…dark wood… a balcony. Those things I do miss at the compound. But odds are still in favor of a reasonably priced plumbing solution at the moment.
Tomorrow will tell us more. George Myers’ ghost owes me something. That I know. And I know the reason I’m a Democrat is that I know it was only luck that my parents are among the top 10% of parents in history. I did nothing to deserve them.