Saturday, April 9, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away

For reasons I don't fully understand, I can never sleep when it's raining. If I don't know it's raining and I can't hear it raining, then I can sometimes sleep, but usually I'm restless and uneasy. It's strange, because growing up in Oregon, it rained more often than not. There, however, the rain is gentle and soft, quiet and misty. When I moved east with my family, I was exposed to violent thunderstorms, nor'easters and hurricanes. But it's not just rain that creeps me out. When I was living in the dorms during college, the downside of having my own private room was the fact that water from the bathroom on the floor above would leak through my ceiling every now and then. It made me very uneasy to never know when a pipe was going to malfunction and water start coming down. When I graduated and found a job at a nice art gallery, it was a common practice to walk around the store after a rainstorm and make sure buckets were catching the puddles caused by the fashionable but leaky roof. My apartment had a strange leak in the kitchen ceiling, where water would emerge a day or two after a heavy rain, after traveling through some sort of secret passageway in the old roof. When I moved to New York, my first home was a house where my bedroom ceiling caved in, caused, I'm sure, by water damage from the washing machine on the floor above. After I fled that place, my next apartment was brand newly renovated, but it was on the top floor, and the first heavy rain caused the living room ceiling to swell up with water from a leak in the roof. Now I live in an old house with a foundation eroded and probably shifted by rain, with a yard that requires causeways and channels to divert the water so that the soil doesn't all travel away. So, you see, water and I are not good friends.

My husband continues to assure me that our house has a new roof, which he personally and painstakingly helped install a few years ago. Often, in our bedroom here, I can hardly hear the rain at night, the house's walls are so thick. Still, there is a strange pinging sound that I hear every now and then when it rains and the droplets hit the metal chimney of the water heater that extends from the wall of our kitchen. This chimney was built by idiots, my husband says, and just the other day he was pointing out to me that if the wind and rain hit the chimney just right, the water runs down the pipe into the side of the house instead flowing away and dripping onto the ground. I guess the conditions were right last night, because it rained pretty hard and, though I slept all right, I woke up early and went into the kitchen to get breakfast and stepped into a puddle of water. C was awake but not at all happy to have me pull him out of bed to inspect a puddle. He's been muttering about idiots and cursing under his breath ever since. And it's a darkish damp Saturday, so I think the best thing to do is retire to my sewing nook, turn on the radio, and do some work. But first, a shower.

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