Monday, February 8, 2010

I Want My Office Back

How many trips does it take a given set of roofers to fix the leak in my ceiling? Tomorrow will be their fifth time back, and I doubt it will be the last.

What a long and annoying two months this has been. I could accept that first leak with good humor. The ceiling had waited until I reached my desk for the day, after all, before the drip, drip, drip began to splash off my bookcase and onto the back of my neck, so I didn't lose any of the files I'd left out that night. And besides, the apartment on the other side of the wall had it much worse. My leak was just the overflow from the much greater deluge falling into their second bedroom.

So the roofers came, scaring the dog three-quarters to death with all their banging and scraping and putting down of new tar on the roof my building, but still the leak remained.

And after the next rain, the roofers came again, and still the leak remained.

And following the rain after that, the roofers came yet again, only this time, the leak didn't just remain. This time, the water found a way to flow down through the wall and under my carpet, forming large wet spots that kept growing in area like the blood-red color that flows across a map of Europe in some World War II documentary. Which meant tearing my office apart, moving half of it somewhere else in the apartment, and then setting up the bare essentials again in a very awkward corner. Because the carpet had to be ripped up, and a big fan set in that corner to blow great masses of noisy air across the floor while they stomped around up on the roof for a fourth time.

The dog refused to come in the room while the fan was on, of course. Which was kind of a shame, because with the carpet billowing and poofing, walking through my office felt like walking through one of those big, bouncy castles you see at street fairs and children's parties.

Anyway, as you already know if you live in Southern California, it rained again the other day. And of course, the leak remained.

And was joined by a leak in the ceiling of our hallway.

And by a leak in the ceiling of the master bedroom.

The dog is going to be mighty scared tomorrow, as the roofers come back to my building for a fifth time. And this had better be their last trip, because I really want my office back.