It was a sudden whooshing noise. I was going to make a joke that a spaceship was flying over. And really, I thought it was a plane going by.
But it was actually the sound of water. The sound of the water main in front our house failing catastrophically.
The force was so great that the pavement has lifted inches. All in the space of an hour. When I went to investigate the water bubbling up, I smelled natural gas, too.
So I called everyone: the gas company, the water service.
The water guys smelled gas, too. All the way up to the corner, they said.
The backhoe is now here. They are digging out in the pouring rain, and of course, I feel guilty. I feel like I somehow caused this. Even though I know the house has been here for fifty years and the water main probably as long. Even though I know the water guys have been out here numerous times in recent years, doing exactly what they are doing now, in front of other people's houses.
As it turns out, I won one and I lost one.
The line leading from the water meter to the street shattered. As I'd guessed, it was as old as the house, ancient galvanized piping that belonged to the water service of the city that supplies our house. They were the nicest people, cheerfully slogging through the rain and mud to fix the connection.
The men from the gas company were nice, too, even though it turned out that there was indeed a leak in the gas line, and it was on my side of the meter. The plumber I called out (the same one who visited me two weeks ago) grumbled a bit about being asked to "play in the rain," but ultimately, he was kind and efficient and got the leak fixed in no time. And finally, the second of the gentlemen from the gas company returned of his own volition, only minutes after I'd placed the service call, to restore my gas and check all my appliances. I couldn't thank him enough, and he laughed and said, "I thought to myself, 'that poor lady had enough for one day without having to wait until 8pm to get her gas back.'"
But I assured him that I was grateful for his thoughtfulness.
Yesterday, I had to deal with a single nasty cretin who ruined my entire day. Today, I had a group of the kindest and most professional individuals who brightened my entire week, despite the circumstances, and went a little way to reminding me that there are only two sorts of people in the world. Today, I got the good people.
Go listen to some good music: "Rainy Day" from the album Prospekt's March by Coldplay. All's well that ends well, but gods was it nervewracking 'til the end.