Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Stinky Iceberg

That is the name of our apartment now: The Stinky Iceberg. Bonnie described it in that way and I think it's very fitting. Why? Because for the third time in six months of living here, our apartment flooded last Friday. Not because of us, nay. Because of our neighbors. The first two times, it came from above. Our upstairs neighbors' bathtub overflowed, leaking through our ceiling and onto our carpet below. So large, industrial fans were brought in, the carpet was lifted, and the fans were left to dry our apartment for a day.

But this last time, oh this last time. This last time, it was our neighbors on Bonnie and Daniel's side. Some sort of pipe broke and water flowed sideways in a clear path from Bonnie and Daniel's bathroom out through the living room, transforming our carpet into a veritable wetland. Sopping wet. Completely soaked through, to the point where the animals were lapping in the puddle that we once called a carpet. Bare feet or socks were completely out of the question. We were walking around in jammies and shoes for an entire day of SQUISH, SQUISH, SQUISH, SQUISH! And we could not go around this wetland. No. Bonnie and Daniel's entire room was now a murky swamp, as well as any possible path from couch to dry land. And I wouldn't call it quite a phobia, I think it falls just short of that, but it has certainly always been a pet peeve of mine to walk through squishy grounds. In the past, if I have been outdoors and I had the option of walking through muddy grass that went squish or taking a dry sidewalk a half a mile out of my way, I would choose the sidewalk. I hate squishy grounds, so this was a particular horror. Bonnie and Daniel had it far worse, but still, I was very much put out as well.

Saturday night comes and the apartment is beginning to smell like a rotting corpse. Like we took a person whose physiological makeup was one of garbage and wet dog, murdered them, and then buried them under our sopping carpet. Finally, a maintenance man arrives with a wet vac and sucks 15 gallons of water our of our carpet. 15 gallons. All of it looking like the excess drippings of the creature from the Black Lagoon. And he was being very lazy, I might add. I do believe he could have sucked 15 gallons more of black water out of our former carpet, but instead he leaves us with one of those large fans, pulls up our carpet, and tells us to let that run, as well as our air conditioning, for the next 24 hours.

Cut to three days later and we're still living in this horrible, mildew ridden, stinky, miserable iceberg. Only now we have a dehumidifier as well as an extra fan and firm orders to keep the air conditioning going with all windows shut tight. And STILL our carpet is soaked through in places. I have to climb over a large, white noise expelling fan to get to my restroom, as do Bonnie and Daniel on their end, and we still can't go without shoes in our own home for fear of the icky, melancholy horror that is a wet sock. Here I sit at my computer wearing two jackets in the middle of May, fingertips purple, struggling with the effort of making them move with their usual nimble speed over the keyboard. I was wearing gloves, but the stupid Mervyn's Christmas present that they were, they immediately grew holes and fell apart right on my hands. My nostrils are accosted by a smell of mildew and dirty water that makes me die inside a little every time I step back inside this hellhole of an iceberg. And we are paying $1,500 a month for the privilege to do so.

And still, I am not going out much lately because Bonnie, Daniel, and I are obsessed with the West Wing. And this, West Wing, is how much we love you.


Patrick said...

I was doing pretty good reading this at work, but once I got to "physiological makeup was one of garbage and wet dog", I lost it. And now everybody around my cube wants to know what's so damn funny!

Bonnie said...

Man, I feel so SORRY for us.

Chris Kelly said...

dear friends of mine,

move. move now. what is it with bonnie and awful living situations? i think you should take your time and research a really good place in LA you can be happy in, and then break your lease. you should be able to with all this just cause.

for reals, though. you guys are better than this!


PS [funny, lighthearted, jokey comment]