nor any drop to drink"
~~The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
This afternoon, when leaving my Friend's house, Eight and Three (her girls) and her husband sicker than sick, the swollen skies began to seep. My Friend has been having an awful time of it and there is no relief in sight. Her children are both sick with whatever stomach virus is running rampant this week, and so is her husband. The stereotype regarding sick men being worse than children holds true in this case. Truly it does, truly.
My Friend is about ready to rip his throat out, and drug the kids with cough syrup, just so she can have a moment of peace. And get the laundry done. Oh, and clean up the wads of snotty tissues and puddles of puke. And maybe take a shower, a bath would be better, let calgon take her away.
Instead, my Friend watched me leave with envy, wearily turning from the rain streaked panes. When it rains, her ants invade. I say, "her" ants, because she always has ants (I think there is an ant mountain (surely not just a hill) beneath her trailer) but usually they co-exist in peace. But, when it rains, the ants head for higher ground, and they bring their friends, their families, their entire communities move from their hills to my Friend's counter tops, her bookshelves, and the girls' dresser drawers. Cuz really, if you were an ant, wouldn't you rather be living in clean cotton undies rather than a crowded dirty hill?
So rain doesn't signal bounty for my Friend. It signals yet another foe to battle. I left her and her brood with fresh baked bread. Next I drove to Yet Another Friend's and we had a very nice, if somewhat drafty visit. Yet Another Friend likes clean fresh air and so had thrown open her windows to allow the breeze that rain brings to move thru her townhouse. While we visited, her kitchen floor accumulated puddles as the rain was now no longer a gentle mist, but a torrential downpour. We should have noticed, yelling as we tried to drown out the drenching roar of rain. I bid Yet Another stay warm and dry, dashed to my car, and drove home.
The sky was darkening as I headed north out of town. The fields on either side of the slick surfaced road were swamped. Mississippi's water table lies close to the surface at all times, so it takes little rain to convert a field to a pond. This is one thing that allows our growing season to be so lovely and full. It also proves that Mississippi Mud is not just dessert.
I parked in the mire, and waded thru the muck, and let myself into my own home. I hadn't washed my hair since Saturday and was really looking forward to a nice hot shower, complete with suds and shampoo. My awful shower singing is not a symphony, but since it's me and the furrbees, I don't worry about bothering the non-existent neighbors.
My boots were caked with mud, as I had slipped in the dogs' de-grassed playing field. My hands were furred, from the scritches I'd given Shaddow and Beider. And my cuffs were drenched, both shirt and jeans. So I stepped over to the sink, turned it on, and waited.
And waited. And heard the faint gurgle of air in the lines where water should be. And then, I went to the bathroom, to try the sink there. No water. So I called my landlords. And they have no water either.
I might have to take my skanky self to the gym; they have a shower. With water. I think.