This page has moved to a new address.

Fighting the Flood

In the "Cult of Escapism": Fighting the Flood

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fighting the Flood

(From August 20)
Today, I had to prevent a flood with a broom and a hoe. Five minutes after returning home in torrential* rain, I propped up my hammock for a peaceful afternoon of reading, when water slid through my front door and surrounded my feet. I grabbed a broom and began sweeping against the incoming current.
The water coming in

This, by the way, is one of the most hopeless feelings I've ever had: sweeping a $3 broom against an unstoppable rain flow. Water swarmed my ankles, dampening the bottom of my pants. Water slithered into my kitchen and made no indication of slowing. Water turned the corner to my room. I took a quick mental stock of everything on the ground and began sweeping with an intensity that would make Betty Crocker proud. This was sweeping on steroids – if the steroids also had crack in them. But talk about Sisyphean – this felt like sweeping the ocean off of the beach.
My "Oh damn, that was close" face

I realized that my defensive maneuvers were soon to fail and dedicated myself instead to a counter attack. With a few final furious strokes, I created a temporary respite and ran around the corner to get the hoe. My only chance was to re-dig the preventative ditch around the house deep enough to carry the water down and away. So, ankle-deep in mud and soaked from above, I deepened the ditch. I had to stop several times to go back and sweep encroaching water out of the front door. I must have looked like a lunatic – hacking a ditch for a few seconds and then dropping the hoe and running into the house to sweep away the water and then running back to the ditch. However, after a few minutes, the water flowed brown and beautiful away from my house and I paused to savor the victory.

The new ditch; plus, my cheap but trusty broom
I dug a little deeper to make sure and then swept the remaining rain out of the house. Minutes later, the rain subsided and the victory felt more final.

I have 45 days left in my service and it looks like Panama won't let me go quietly.

*By the way, the word 'torrential' gets used to the point of irrelevance. To clarify, this wasn't heavy raining, it wasn't 'raining hard' – this was torrential. When the dude wrote the dictionary definition for 'torrential,' he was looking out his window at what I was seeing.   


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home