Deep Water



Days after I posted Troubled Waters, a soft, slow wave flooded my house. 2015  has been a year filled with forced change, with ironic twists of fate, with higher highs and lower lows. My husband broke my heart several times over. I returned home from my first treatment center to find his lover’s name on our mailbox. I fell in love twice, once in a psychiatric hospital and once during my three-month post-treatment program. I had a completely unexpected and maybe the best-ever sexual experience with a Blabla Car driver  on my way to Paris. I turned 47 and had a forbidden birthday romp in the sack with a much younger man at my treatment center. I drank relentlessly and then drank no more. I ripped an IV out of my poor arm in the emergency room after hours of waiting to leave. (Don’t ever do this, blood fountains out of you. It’s horrid.)  I planned to leave my husband and ended up staying. I looked for work without ever imagining for one minute that I might actually get hired. All of that led up to the flood. Then I got hired and began work like a real live human being.  I feel inclined to write about how awful and wonderful having your home go under water can be.

My home is my husband’s in almost every way. His house, his furniture, his paintings and statues and decorative objects. For all intents and purposes, I have been nothing more than the housekeeper. He is maniacally organized, meticulous. I too despise clutter. In my childhood, if I left my stuff lying around, my step-father threw it away. I’m quite tidy as a result. My husband tends to collect things. Pottery, beautiful silver, marble pieces, antiques. The awesome thing about a flood is, the water causes everything to float and since the water level goes down gently, almost everything remains intact. I would have loved to be under the water watching all of our life floating, turning over, gracefully landing. A huge buffet landed on top of our iMac and an ornate, expensive marble and gold-leaf pendulum (?).  It was unbroken. The computer was bathed in mud when we retrieved it but otherwise, it wasn’t broken either. We found frying pans in the bathroom and nearly all of my books floating like ducks in a muddy pond, our photo albums swollen with memories and dirty water. The water was so high that it filled the drawers in our refrigerator. No one dared open the door because of the rotten smell reeking inside.

My library books were in a higher place than my own books and I didn’t have to pay for them. My neighborhood is devastated….I guess the mayor must have picked up the tab for damaged library books and DVDs. When the flood happened, we were watching one of the DVDs that I had checked out. It remained in the DVD player under water for quite a long time but it was unharmed as well.

I live next to a Marine Land. Several turtles and a sea-lion got loose. I would have gladly adopted a seal had he escaped his sad fate. No such luck for either of us. As for the wonderful part of losing everything….you get to start over again! I feel lighter having lost so much of my stuff. I would have never had the heart to toss all the mud-covered cards, letters, paperwork. It’s all gone now. Unwanted gifts, clothes I never wear, the weight of 22 years of consumerism, washed away…’s amazing! I feel very strongly that everything that has led me to this point in my existence was right for me. I haven’t failed at being myself, making my own decisions, taking the long way. Now I have less to account for which should make motion more possible. Living through a natural disaster is really an amazing experience!