Monday, May 17, 2010

The Water Heater

Spring 2001

If you haven't been present at the death of a water heater, you need to know that they can go dramatically. First is an explosion, then the municipal water supply rushes across your floor in a river. When ours went, the children and I responded with lots of screaming and sloshing about, during which time I turned over the sewing basket, and spools of thread unraveled before they got carried off downstream, which led to our getting all tangled up with ourselves and each other. Then a gallon can of white paint slipped through Dave's wet hands and hit the floor hard enough to knock the lid off, and paint poured out into the river, creating white water, and while we were trying to rescue several dozen pieces of the new 7-drawer armoire we'd just taken out of the box, we dropped and broke several of them. Despite the screaming and spewing and paint, not to mention the tangling, tripping, and slipping, we did eventually manage to form a pretty orderly bucket brigade, and fortunately our plumber lives just two streets over and doesn't mind coming over on Sunday afternoons, which for some reason is when we usually have our crises that involve large amounts of water. This time when he came over to assess the situation, he stood for the longest time in our doorway, surveying the scene and shaking his head.

Months later I moved a piece of furniture and was puzzled by a, raised white line across the floor. I pried it up and discovered that it was a long, paint-coated thread.


[Part of the chaos was due to my never being quite sure where my arms and legs are or what they're up to. This perception is called "proprioception." Here's an unusually well thought-out article on it, and here's a more technical article on Asperger's and sensory integration.]

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