I remembered the kitchen sink was clogged, and knew I couldn’t sleep in, I had to fix it. I don’t know anything about plumbing and was lucky to even find a wrench. I got it apart and emptied the dirty water, then reconnected the pipes, ran the faucet, waited. Water shot out of the connection points, and I caught it in a dirty bowl, threw the water in a bush. Repeated the same procedure two or three times, sat on the sofa drinking coffee, trying to forget it, but got up again and started rooting through the dirt outside, looking for the pipe, to see if it ran out back, or where.
Went down in the crawl space, which I’ve never done before, the area beneath our house. Discovered what looked like a tombstone broken in half, made out of concrete, with red paint splattered on it and “Who’s Next…?” written for dramatic effect in red, dripping, like blood. It looked like some Halloween-thing but was a bit dark for kids, darker still that I discovered it here in the crawl space.
Got down on my stomach Marine-style and shimmied across the black plastic and the dust, between the mouse traps and under the ducting. Found the pipe, found a mouse corpse (still fresh, stinking), removed it and tossed it in the garbage with the baby birds the cats killed earlier in the week.
Pulled up Angie’s List looking for a plumber who works Sundays. Finished the coffee and hand washed all the dishes from the dinner party, Saturday.
Got out the pressure washer and finished off the back patio. Showered, shaved, made lunch, started drinking beer. Smoked the last of the cigar Anthony left, cut the part off that had wax on it from the citronella candle.
Set up the tent and the Coleman mattress for a siesta, got coerced to go in the hot tub with the girls instead. Got distracted by the pine needles falling in the water though, had to pick them out one by one, wrote some bad verse about the sound of the leaves in the trees this time of year, when they start to go dry and make a papery sound.
Did Face Time with my dad, on the phone: a peep-hole through our house, a recap of the day, snatches of the kids in the sandbox, in their room, spinning the prism to catch what we can and say good night.