Down the Toilet

New York City apartments. We put up with a lot of things about them. The price, the size, the lack of closet space, their walking distance to public transportation, and sometimes even the proximity to the actual city itself (hello to our Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens readers!) but I am soooo tired of putting up with my plumbing. As earlier posts attest, I have some issues with the pipes in my bathroom ceiling. Those issues didn’t go away. Not the first time, not the second or third time and definitely not this time. Overnight, I went from having a nice, flat ceiling, to one that was swollen like the belly of a woman who is seven months pregnant. In came the Super and his workers to “fix” the problem, and out I went to try and find a place to make deadlines and conference calls. This was fine for a day, but when I went home and saw my bathroom was literally a pile of rubble, back out I went. Except this time, I went out of town for a few days to work and enjoy working bathrooms (thanks, mom and dad!).

But that was last week. Now it’s Tuesday and the work is finally wrapping up. I spent today ducking in-and-out of Starbucks to use their bathroom — not once purchasing any coffee. My daytime roommates who are inhabiting my bathroom to repair the damage don’t know that though my conversational Spanish isn’t great, I can still understand what they say when they talk about me. Their discussion went something like this (my translations are rough, to say the least):

Short worker guy: ¿cuál es su trabajo?

Mustachioed worker: No creo que tiene un trabajo.

Short worker: Deseo que no tuviera que trabajar.

Mustachioed worker: Si no trabajara, miraría la televisión de los deportes.

The next time the mustachioed one passed through my living room/office, I was on YouTube, watching a short video about Rwandan relief efforts. I saw him sneak at glance over at my monitor. Sure enough, my movements were reported to his vertically-challenged friend:

“Mira la televisión en su computadora.”

“Ohhh.”

After my “work police” left, I spent the evening cleaning up after them, vacumming, wiping the film of dry plaster off my floors, cleaning my toilet and then my whole bathroom. All I could think about while doing this were my repairmen saying:

“Quizás es una señorita de la limpieza.”

“Ohhh.”

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