Thursday, May 10, 2007

Six Months in a Leaky Shower

Not to put too fine a point on it, but my goddamn fucking shower is trying to kill me.

After noticing some minor leakage between the shower threshold and the floor last week, I called my contractor over to recaulk two days ago. After waiting for the caulk to cure, I climbed in the shower this morning and a large volume of water began pooling on the bathroom floor.

Having already been awake and unable to sleep since 4am, I couldn't contain the sudden rush of white hot anger I felt. I started pounding on the front door until my fists hurt and screamed profanities at the top of my lungs before collapsing in a sob-choked meltdown that morphed into a paralyzing spiral of self-loathing once my girlfriend left for work. This is roughly the same reaction I would've had to adversity when I was four. It made me feel undignified, unmasculine, immature, scared, ashamed and more than a little crazy.

Not wanting to chance a repeat performance in public, I took a few hours of leave and embarked on what must've been a very wooden and deranged-looking walk about the neighborhood to calm myself down. A retired lady walking her dog eyeballed me suspiciously from the opposite end of the street, but then an older man with a T-shirt reading, "When in doubt, sing loud" greeted me warmly. I'm grateful to that man and his T-shirt for steering me back toward the living. The walk worked just enough for me to make it through the rest of the workday.

Nevertheless, my mind was literally reeling as I tried to focus on my work. It was like being high and not in a good way. I felt dizzy, like I'd been strapped upside down in a flight simulator for too long.

I know the leaking shower is just a mundane household nightmare with an end point, but that point is nowhere in sight. Besides, my anger over the shower is only a metaphor for how I feel about all my perceived inadequacies. I thought I was starting to get a step up on my crisis in confidence, but today's outburst just washed it all away. All I can do now is start rebuilding.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, at least you had the good sense not to freak out in front of your girlfriend (unlike the old days, when the ex-wife got to view it all...remember when I tried to outdo your rage and made a hole in the wall? Ahh, the good old days...) It is just a shower and it will be fine. Now, go sing loud.

Greg said...

For the record, most of the afforementioned outburst did occur in my girlfriend's presence, which is why I ended up stuck in an hours-long shame spiral necessitating the use of mental health leave.

As far as that hole in the wall, that's what taught me how to patch such a hole, so at least something useful came from it ;).

Wyatt Brand said...

So you're human. Big shocker. Every single one of us has habits, compulsions, weaknesses, outbursts, and vulnerabilities that we'd rather not take out an ad about - but they're there and so the people in our lives work with them. I'm not advocating a Lord of the Flies scale free-for-all, but there's no reason to feel shame or admonish yourself for being flesh and bone. All we can do is work on these less desireable attributes, try to see what's behind them, and avoid them in the future. Otherwise, how are we to face the bigger, actual life crises (birth, death, disease) when they inevitably will come along? I guess I'm saying that you can have confidence that your lapses will not be held against you by the people who love you. It's hard enough having a melt-down without having to face a meltdown about the meltdown.

Anonymous said...

Twice recently I have experienced shower related sob-choked meltdowns spiraling to paralyzing self-loathing.

The first was when I looked down to see that piece of soap on my foot was really a scorpion.

The second time I can't really talk about.

Rachel said...

I thought everyone had these as often as I do (roughly 1-3 times per week). You mean, it's not as normal as going to the potty? Eating? Hmmm, I guess I need more therapy than I thought. Either that, or Greg--you're just as normal as the rest of us.