Till taught by pain, Men really know not what good water's worth; If you had been in Turkey or in Spain, Or with a famish'd boat's-crew had your berth, Or in the desert heard the camel's bell, You'd wish yourself where Truth is--in a well.
- Lord Byron
Or, perhaps, in my basement.
Yes siree, my basement is full of truth right now. Truth is just a-flowin like a river.
Truth, truth, truth all over the place.
Today, in Schuylkill County, and quite possibly elsewhere but who really cares about that, there was rain of Biblical proportions. Bucktes and buckets of rain. It rained the equivalent of 40 days and 40 nights in about 5 hours. Ok, I exaggerate - maybe 7 hours.
I kept delaying leaving work, hoping to catch a quite time in the deluge but it was not to be. So, by the time I reached my car, I was already soaked. Then I had to get out of the car to pick up a hoagie (sub, long-ish type sandwich for the non-yonkos among you) for my daughter and then get out of the car again to drop it off at school so she would have some supper on her way to county band auditions. By the time all that was done, well, I didn't even care all that much.
I pulled into my driveway which was about 6 inches deep in water, got out of the car yet again to get the mail, had my back tidal-waved by a passing car (yeah that was real funny, jerk!) and drove up my washed out driveway. Meh, like I haven't done that before.
I decided to stop at the horse stall to pay a quick visit to Lil' Dozer who hasen't seen a day of dry ground since he arrived in Pennsylvania. I patted him on the head and assured him that it isn't always like this - soon it will be frozen solid. Poor little guy.
Then I braced myself.
For I knew.
Rain = wet house.
And remember when I said this was Biblical?
I walked in the dining room to find the usual drip pans. One, two...oh and there's one with a large plate of glass to catch the drips falling too close to the wall and run them into the pan.
God! I live among geniuses!
Into the hallway to hang up my soaked rain coat and find something a little more suitable to wear for the inevitable unclogging of roof drains.
And let me stop here to make a little public service announcement. INTERIOR ROOF DRAINS ARE A VERY BAD IDEA!!!!!!!!!!!! Why, oh, why would the thought of bringing the water INTO THE WALLS OF YOUR HOUSE on its way out ever seem like a stroke of genius? Hmmm? Can someone tell me why?
No, I didn't think so.
While haging up the soaked coat, I peeked into the laundry room.
All over the floor. A big puddle of truth.
I got the mop and soaked up the truth and indifferently squished it down the drain. I gathered two buckets and strategically arranged them on the floor.
The truth dripped in.
I then went into the kitchen and asked my hubby if he got the note I left him about the water pipe with a veeeeery leeeetle hole in it that I found in the basement today. He said he did and...
All of a sudden our son came in from outside saying "There's truth spilling over the roof!"
For the unknowing among you, let me explain our set up here. There is the main roof of the house which is peaked. This roof is about, oh, really big. All of the water that dumps off of this roof goes on to a flat roof which is, oh, also really big. From the flat - well, not exactly flat because it pitches IN TOWARD THE HOUSE at various places to the stupid, stupid interior drains - roof, the water goes down the interior drains to God only know where because we certainly don't and that there isn't a can of worms we even want to think about opening.
Doncha just love old houses?
So one part of this flat but not exactly flat roof is over the dining room. This roof is about a 18 x 33 foot expanse that pitches toward an itsy bitsy drain hole along the outer edge. But! It is not so far on the outer edge as to allow the water to just go off the roof. No! There is a little wall about 18 inches high so as to give the illusion to someone who might be standing on the ground that it is, acutally, a flat roof. Which it is not. Follow? Good.
But Oh! what an illusion it creates! For instance, the innocent passer by might have looked at the roof today and might have seen water spilling over the edge and not have given it much thought except to maybe think "They really ought to put a gutter on the edge of that roof and direct the water all to one spot."
What that unkowing individual doesn't realize is that on the other side of that false flat roof facade is a lake.
A lake deep enough to spill over an 18 inch wall.
Let's just stop a minute so you can take that all in.
Do you all recall that this is happening on top of my dining room?
Which might explain all the truth dripping through the ceiling.
So, no sooner were the words out of my son's mouth than I was grabbing an umberella (what? why?) and sprinting upstairs and out onto the roof.
The lake was deeper than my boots were tall. I had to scoot around the edge, get onto the false flat roof facade wall and make my way to the drain. I sqatted down and reached into the truth but it was too deep.
I kneeled down, rolled up my soaking wet sleeve so as not to get it wet in the lake, and reached in. I groped around in the truth until I found the malicious blob of leaves covering the drain and pulled them out. Then I made my way around the rest of the roof, cleaning out the other blobs of leaves from the other drains.
Most people would do this when it isn't raining but I find that to be rather uninspired.
I was now thoroughly soaked - glad I brought the umberella! - so I made my way inside and down to the basement.
I think I have mentioned by basement here before.
If you are seeking truth, it is in my basement.
How about a fountain of truth bursting forth?
Um...truth spilling out across the floor?
Let's see...do we have any truth bubbling up out of a pipe that comes from some place beyond our foundation walls and very possibly this dimension?
How about a truth so deep that it forms a whirlpool, almost sucking you in along with all the flotsam and dried up dead mice?
OF COURSE WE DO!
I think I also might have...well, maybe just possibly...yes, yes I'm sure of it.
I looked down and saw a raft float by...
...and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a young boy in a calico dress and a big black man dash behind the coal stoker on their way to Illinois.
After we made sure all the drains were open and flowing, hopefully fast enough to keep pace with the influx, my hubby and I were left with only one more thing to do. So we donned our waders and ponchos and went for a hike around the neighborhood.
Just slogging through the truth. Because, you know...
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.
Yeah. Me and Norman Fitzroy Maclean. Haunted.