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  • Annette Dawm


Yesterday started off as a typical day. I didn't have anything planned except to watch The GRAMMY's. I had slept in a little bit but I had enough time to bravely email a PR firm to ask if I could interview one of their celebrity clients. It always takes a lot of courage for me to do this and I don't know why. My friend Tim does a podcast and interviews people all the time. He says the worst they can say to you is "no", but I find not getting a reply at all is sometimes worse. So I sent off my questions and they were sent back because apparently "Alex the PR Person" doesn't exist anymore. That felt like a waste of time since my Personal Support Worker, (PSW) Cathy would be arriving soon and I could have done other things. It was a minor inconvenience compared to what was about to happen.

Cathy arrived and we went about our routine which is pretty simple: Cathy got my socks on and did my hair and made some toast. Then we put in some laundry. Cathy thought she heard water running elsewhere but I didn't see or hear anything. I was talking and then Cathy said, "Uh... Annette! This is not good!" I looked up and saw that my kitchen light-- which we have since named "the fish bowl"-- was filling with water while the light was still on! Cathy quickly turned the power off as the light fixture filled with water. The light could only hold so much and it started gushing onto the floor. Without the lights on, it was hard to get a clear picture, but you can still see the water coming out. I didn't have a lot of towels but Cathy did the best she could while I called for help.

Unfortunately, my building's supervisor only works on Mondays and this was a Sunday morning. The best way to reach her is by email but she wasn't responding. I have been told in the past to phone an elderly neighbour in case of emergency, so I did that. He couldn't grasp the seriousness of the situation but he donated a mop and a garbage pail and eventually reached the supervisor. They weren't allowed to go into the lady upstairs' apartment because she wasn't home, so Cathy just kept mopping and emptying the water containers. The elderly neighbour successfully removed the fish bowl without being electrocuted. I posted about the ordeal on Facebook which another PSW, Kayla saw. She called me and I asked her to bring more towels.

Then the water started to come out of the ceiling fan. This was bad for many reasons. My books and craft supplies were sitting nearby and my heart dropped because not only had I spent a lot of money on these books, but I had a big box of papers that I have been saving for years that I am currently using for a massive wall collage project. So we got them put away and we just hoped the water wouldn't travel to my room. I asked Cathy to move my TV and a few other electronics because it had flooded there before. She didn't think they needed to be moved but after she did move them, the water came down in the same spot that took two months to fix over the summer in 2016. In that case, the lady upstairs melted a pipe in her hot water heater because she was using the extremely hot water to clean her grandson's cloth diapers. In my opinion, this child was too old to be in diapers but besides that, she could have used a kettle or a pot to boil water. But who am I to say? I just live here.

The lady came home and by this time a plumber had arrived. He casually determined that her toilet had overflowed and she went out while it was still running. A curious thing was that a rock had been left in the back of the toilet. I thought maybe the grandchild left it there but apparently it was a measure of water conservation. Except all of the conserved water came into my apartment and someone thoughtfully decided to put the rock on my mailbox as a souvenir of the day. Thank you for that.... (That is not my sailboat.)

An electrician came and made everything safe to use. He was supposed to come this morning to check on the ceiling fan's motor, but he is yet to arrive. At least the water is gone but I am afraid of the aftermath for the ceiling. It took three repairmen at different times to finally finish the last job over the span of two months and I really don't want to live with everything under a tarp again with a giant piece of drywall in my living room.

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