It’s Friday night and it won’t be long ’til I….
Until I cry again. Unfinished, hot, salty tears running down my cheeks. Dragging down the mascara repeatedly applied. The mascara is there to try mask the fear. The realisation that actually my gut instinct was right, and now reality sucks big time. This is secondary to the thought that the nightmare is not over, currently unfinished, and only just beginning.
Go back four months. Four months ago I signed for a new home. Not new in build, but new and exciting to me, to our family. Everything perfect, except for a smell. Musty, old, claustrophobic smell. It’s been haunting me, taunting, despite how many supplies in bleach that I buy. It’s not my cleaning habits that start it, nor make it worse. I kept being told the house was okay. This week, I resorted to more scented candles, and it still didn’t budge.
Last Tuesday, I had a dream. In reality, after a lot of sniffing, it was decided the smell was from the floorboards. That night, the nightmare was that the floorboards were ripped open, and underneath the house was swimming, flooded. I dreamt, panicked over my husband’s roar over discovering the misfortune. I woke up, knowing it was just a dream, a nightmare. Of course this couldn’t be possible? Gut instinct was ignored to rip up the floorboards there and then.
Cue Friday, and the floorboards were ripped up, as the smell taunted once more. Then I gasped, I cried, I shook. For underneath the floorboards was 8 inches of stagnant, black water. Not running, fresh, life-giving. No, my water, the core of my house is dirty, dark, almost breeding. The smell took no prisoners. It grew in it’s own vulgar ways once given a release through the floorboards. I tried to pull together, I did what was expected, phoned all the relevant people.
The 8 inches spread all over the living room. Contained only by the brick foundations. The nightmare deepens, the water company wants to test the water. Bright orange results, indicating the presence of ammonia, urine. We’re not dealing with just rain water, but now sewerage. This curbs the obsession to rip up the floorboards one by one, to grab a bucket, a hose pipe and get rid of the dark matter myself.
Another inspection, and a joiner now announces all the floorboards need to go, the skirting boards too. A plan is explained of pump, fix, rip-up and re-lay. Except, it’s my house, my home. My children’s home. It’s a room I now can’t use. The smell very much alive after it’s awakening. It’s our possessions being moved, shifted, stored. Knowing the work ahead, the time, the new items needed.
Now pumped of the evil liquid, tonight, it’s just a room. A cold, empty room. Still wet, still smelling, something still lurking.
For now, I’ll write. I will craft, plan, dream, organise. Resisting the temptation to bleach everything. The dark waters and me have unfinished business, but for tonight, just now, it’s behind the closed living room door.
Rose-Sky Journey Pieces.