The Flushometer (plink, plink)

by

06/02/2002

W 95th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Neighborhood: Upper West Side

Like 0 Retweet 0

Illustrations by Elisha Cooper

I know I'm not alone. Off the top of my head I can think of two friends, single women, Upper West Siders living alone, who are experiencing a similar ordeal. "It's traumatic," I agreed when Nina called, frantic about the leak in her bathroom ceiling and the building's lack of a super. "You'll be okay," I told Julia, whose bathroom ceiling was caving in, whose noisy pipes were keeping her sleep-deprived.

A collection of CDs from Broadside has just been reissued. "The Faucets Are Dripping in New York City," one song by Malvina Reynolds attests. That was in 1964.

I played that song the other night to the steady accompaniment of my grinding, screaming, braying plumbing. For a while, before my hand grew tired, I tried to keep a log. I recorded the time of each thunderous hydraulic outburst. Every four to five minutes, exactly, for ten to fifteen seconds. "Not my responsibility," said the super, emerging squinting from his basement lair. Hung over, as usual. "Call owner."»

"Maybe the flushometer," said the building owner, when he finally answered the phone. "Maybe. We'll look into it."

Phone call. Phone call. "We'll look into it."

GRRRRRR-BRRRRRR GRRRRR! EEEBRRRR! EEEBRRRRRR! EEEEGRRRRR!

It's five a.m. It's five oh five a.m. It's six a.m. The vibrations penetrate the walls, run along the floorboards, one end of the apartment to the other. Tiny vials of shampoo fall off the bathtub rim. I kick off the sheets, stand, pace, plot revenge, seethe. I feel like a shocked rat in a lab experiment, learning about helplessness. You understand. Nina understands. Julia understands...

Comments
Rate Story
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
Loading ... Loading ...

§ Leave a Reply

Other Stories You May Like

Nearby Upper West Side Stories

Wagner in the Park

by

She said that she could never understand how I could enjoy the work of such a fierce anti-Semite.

Hurrah’s

by

Hurrah's began as a nexus for disco (in the early days it was a rival of Studio 54 and Xenon), then moved over into what was sti

The Meathead on the No. 1 Train

by

Nebbish meets meathead on uptown No. 1

Larry’s Bench

by

Larry Polshansky, dead. I cannot believe this. He wasn’t that much older than my husband, Gregory, who died of melanoma at [...]

Doc Pomus

by

My songwriter friend Robin called me with an opportunity to make some easy money, fast. She gave me the name [...]