Yuck. Standing in soapy water up to my ankles, I glance at the drain and wonder what the hell is in there. Hair? Shampoo residue? Dirt? How gross are we, really?
My husband tries to fix it himself. He makes a list, goes to Lowes, comes home with some sort of machinery and gooey formula. He rolls up his jeans and reads the instructions. He even watches a YouTube video about how to unclog a drain, and I listen with sadness at the most boring content that’s ever lived online and at his full attention to it. This man of my life, he is always eager to solve things. He wants to figure it out, he wants to make it work, he wants to hold up a shiny remedy and say “There! I did it!” So I peek from a crack in the bathroom door, lastima already pooling at my heels, and I whisper silent prayers that the water will go down and that his sense of manliness, his sense of duty, will go up.
But prayers aren’t always answered. The plumbers come that afternoon. They are from Nairobi and they are so nice, I contemplate inviting them to stay for dinner. My husband tells them we honeymooned in Kenya, and they thank us for traveling there as if we weren’t the lucky ones, as if we weren’t the ones honored with safari and scenery. They bring out their plumbing equipment and it’s for realys. My husband says, “Can I watch?” And I think, “Watch what, watch a pipe clear?” Yes, that is what he is asking. And with that, I’m filled with a mass of lastima the size of a continent, the size of Africa itself.
I watch him watching them. He studies their handiness and their dudeness. You know, how guys get hair and oil buildup out of shower-holes? Soon enough it’s unblocked, the cloudy water evacuates, and we pay the men for their services. As they drive away, I tell my husband, “I don't know what I’d do without you. You’re my answer.” He beams. And I mean it.
p.s. We should have broken bread with them, they were the coolest guys in LA.