“There is water shooting out of the wall behind my bathtub and it is flooding my apartment. I don’t know how to make it stop!”

I didn’t hear the voice mail message until after the fact but given the severity of the situation, she sounded relatively calm. It was the pounding on my door that alerted me to the trouble. We ran down to her apartment where I saw the water spouting up from behind the clawfoot tub, the legs of my sweatpants immediately soaked, forcing me to pull them up to my knees as I waded through the flooded bathroom. I dived right in searching for the knob to turn off the water flow. Despite turning it, the water still poured out. My glasses were fogged up from the heat and my shirt and hair were drenched. I climbed into the tub and realized the source of the water was from an old pipe with its own valve. I could barely reach it to turn it off. The water was hot and shooting directly into my face. But I did it. I stopped the water.

Apparently some shampoo bottles had fallen between the wall and the tub. The force of their trajectory must have hit the valve resulting in the water eruption. Why on earth they left a working pipe with its own valve there without closing it off is beyond me but a lot of the plumbing around here is shoddy from the former owners. Since it was an un-used pipe, the water was brown and mucky at first so there was grime amongst the water, on the walls and the ceiling. It was a mess.

So we mopped and dis-infected and hung rugs out to dry and I went back to my apartment to shower even though I looked like I already had, fully clothed.  I felt proud of myself for finding the source and stopping the flooding from causing further damage. As I stood there in the shower relishing in my accomplishment I realized that’s what I’ve been wanting all along- to be able to stop the flood at its source.

Because I’ve been metaphorically ankle deep in the water, soaking wet, watching the geyser, wondering how the fuck this happened. Just standing there in it, crying. But what I needed to do was find the valve, turn it to off, clean up the mess and move on.

So that’s what I am doing.

Not everything is in my control but some things are.


68 thoughts on “Geyser

  1. I thought this might be a metaphorical good thing for you! I’m glad you were able to move on and handle the things that you can control!!

    And for the record, I never would have been able to stop the leak. I’d have spent an hour slipping and sliding and then would have had to call a plumber. Have a great rest of the week, ok?

  2. The odd thing is: first there is a mess and then everything gets cleaned up… and water is used to do both. I’m not sure if there is any meaning to that or not. Just an observation

    Way to take charge though! Great Job!


  3. Wow. I was all “this-is-such-a-great-sizzle-comedy-story” at first, but by the end, I was all, “Damn, she got it, and IT, figured out.”

    Excellent, girl. Simply excellent.

  4. You are a building super-stah! – Glad you had shower reflection time to make the connection that you did. You are strong Sizz! – you will figure things out, I know you will.

  5. I think it’s a huge leap forward when people realize they can only control so much … and then to focus on what’s in their control. It makes the world a much clearer place. Hope you are able to shut off the valve and make it tight!

  6. I have goosebumps! The universe always gives us the most amazing metaphors to help us understand our lives, but we don’t always decipher them. But you, you are wise (and handy!).

  7. That is awesome! (even though I hate this saying) You go girl!

    I’m happy to hear you have found the source of your unhappiness and are working towards fixing the problem. I want the happy Sizzle back!

  8. congrats! I wish you were my landlord, all I get in response to my queries: call the plumber. call the wall guy. call the bla bla bla –

    maybe I should move into your building!

  9. “I dived right in searching for the knob to turn off the water flow.” I think sometimes the things that trip us up/stop us/make us hesitate are our own selves. Why? Because we stand there thinking and analyzing and questioning our abilities when we just need to dive in and do it. Do something. Anything. Nothing to lose – same with the knob. You figured out pretty quickly that it was the wrong one, so you found the right one. You didn’t question if you could or not. You just DID. And you can do it again. And again.

  10. And I’ll bet you already had the tools you needed, too.

    But I have a belt you can borrow. Tool belts are hot.


  11. I love it when real life provides the perfect metaphor for us to apply to our emotional selves. I can’t imagine how much nastiness you were dealing with if the pipe hadn’t been used in who knows how long. EWW!

  12. If you have solved the secrets of the universe, please share.

    I hope you get some relief from the flooding.

  13. I don’t know what you’re going through, but, somehow, I feel a solidarity.

    And just knowing someone else is here makes all the difference in the world.

    I hope it can help you, too.

  14. Ok, first of all? YAY YOU!! I love when we girls push up our sleeves and take care of bizniss.

    Second, I know exactly what you mean. Had it been spring, the idea of spring cleaning-getting rid of anything that hasn’t brought you joy in 6 months…would also be appropriate.

    Coming from someone in the same boat, there’s strength in numbers. Cheering you on in Oregon.

  15. I’m glad to hear you’ve reached this point 🙂 I reached a similar one this weekend and decided to put some things in order – those that I could control. It’s helped a lot.

    Good luck 🙂

  16. I had this happen to me once, but it was my toilet when they were draining the pool that is somehow connected. I called my dad crying, so you definitely handled it better than I would have.

  17. Would a blog break be a good thing? It couldn’t hurt could it? Just to shake things up a bit, who knows. Best of luck and congrats on stopping the leak.

  18. Way to go for finding the valve – I never could have. And thanks for the message. I needed that right now.

  19. You’re my hero… A few years ago a pipe broke in my attic and gushed down two flights of stairs soaking everything, I stood in the middle of my newly carpeted and newly slushy living room and cried. I had no idea where the valve was… I was about 4 feet away from it.

  20. First off, just want to say…I am three kinds of impressed at how cooly you handled that water problem! WOO! 🙂
    But as a sidethought, I wanted to offer that sometimes we know there is a source that is botheringus and needs to be turned off–but it’s like a leaky sink. It can be a thing which gets fixed in degrees, and like your water problem in that bathroom? Need repairs afterwards to make things good as new. One can’t have a water damage problem ongoing for years and not need to do some drywall work in the end.

    I’m at that point, and while I feel gritty and in need of a pretty tiling job? It feels good to be clean and dry. You are a far better quality bathroom than I, my dear…I know, you’ll be alright.

  21. OH, dude. TOTALLY triathlon (on 8/18 & 8/19). Though someone told me today that they have a swimming 10k. I’m so into that. Or maybe cycling.

    I’m not so into the gymnastics this year. But OH THE SWIMMING.

    I’m such a patriotic nerd during the Olympics. They rock.

  22. I wish we as people could have valves (and no, not in a weird way – in a “then we could find them and fix them” way)… But GO SUPER SIZZLE! And glad your own “valve” is slowly being fixed…

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