We eschewed suburbia. We scorned modern construction techniques. Sure, improvements have been made, we said. Haughty in our innocence. Safe in the gentle blanket of naiveté. Screw cookie cutter, we want personality. Houses last forever. “It’s been around more than 50 years we cried,” willing the heavens to listen, for the heavens sometimes do, I’m told. “It must last for 50 more at least,” we shouted this last bit to the sky. When our words returned, we took the echoes to mean they’d been heard. We took them as a blessing. We should have known, though, D. and I, that the our voices were simply mirroring back from the empty walls of a deserted sky and there would be no help from above.
The old stories often center on this theme. On hubris, on errors of judgement, on misreading some sign or another. These stories have morals, too. Often of eternal pain or worse. Of Sisyphean tasks. And that is where Wednesday evening found D. and I at 11:45pm. Crouching in the black drizzle, grasping pots with numb fingers and bailing murky water out from our window wells.
Apparently, 50 years ago, when it rained for 36 hours, your window wells flooded and the water, subsequently, entered the basement by way of window. And so it still is today. We already had suspicions about the drainage at one of the corners of the house. That corner was shifty, up to no good, we thought. And, unlike my fears of sharks and bears, this one proved a clear, obvious and imminent danger.
The plus side, you ask? Well, I, Captain Fucking Sunshine, am nothing but plus sides, they’re all I ever see. Seriously, it gets obnoxious sometimes when people are all “Hey, Captain Fucking Sunshine, can you see the downside to this thing over here?” And I’m always all “Nope. Just sunshine and plus sides over here, buddy!” Anyway, D. and I have been looking for an excuse to spend a little time outside doing domestic-y crap like gardening and regrading slopes and whatnot. But with all the interior projects (kitchen, bathroom, basement) we couldn’t justify the time. Now we have a great excuse. Bam. Plus side. Gardening in the sun with amazing girl from California for company… and to do the heavy lifting, because, let’s face it, Captain Fucking Sunshine is a bit frail.
Now, back to the window wells.