Sunday, May 16, 2010

Post-Diluvian Follies: Homeward Bound. I Wish I Was...

My hosts had graciously tolerated me for a week—guzzling their coffee each morning, returning each afternoon reeking like hell, eating their dinners, drinking their wine and potable water. As a small thank you, I took them to dinner at the pseudo-swanky (newly reopened) sushi restaurant. Midway through the meal, my phone rang. It was Sarah, and she was desperate.

“Louise and June both have the stomach flu! They’re throwing up constantly! All the sheets are covered in vomit! I can’t leave the apartment to do laundry! I can’t walk the dog! I can’t get groceries! I need help!”


The next morning I hustled, hoping to finish and be on the road by afternoon.

By late morning I was wheeling furniture on a hastily acquired dolly down the narrow hallway to the lone undamaged bedroom for storage. By mid-afternoon, I was lugging plates and glasses upstairs, gently filling a garbage bag with demitasses (a.k.a. “teacups”) and storing them in the bathtub (not a recommended method, but such were the times), rescuing old portraits from above the flood line, and stowing our befouled CDs for later restoration. (They were stolen before we had the chance.)

By late afternoon I was hosing down scattered asbestos tiles (it reduces the dust) and stacking them full to the rim in a large trash can next to two other large trashcans full of various domestic toxins (which I thoughtfully labeled for the patrolling EPA crews).

As the sky turned pink, I made one last survey and slammed shut the still swollen front door. Austin would have to wait until tomorrow.

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