Onto each day, it seems, a little sunshine must fall.
At least that was my hope this morning, when the heavy rains came down so consistently and, it seemed, endlessly, that I started to feel like it was a plot to sour my mood on what could otherwise have been a perfectly fine, relaxing Saturday.
Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem whatsoever with the rain. It hasn’t rained in months, and the poor plants in front of my home not only had to combat the sub-freezing overnight temperatures this week, but the lack of rain for months. For their health and well being alone, I welcomed the downpours.
But for those who think rain can mysteriously set you into a funk, can wash away your happiness and plunge you into a dour mood, on this day they were right.  I desperately wanted some bright sunshine to make me feel more cheerful, rather than sitting by the window watching the rain come down.


But the truth is, the funk had set in much earlier.

At 2 a.m., to be precise.

I’m not a late night person, and I tend to crash early on Friday nights — yes, I know, I know, another sad reminder of the fuddy duddys of getting older, yeah yeah yeah — but usually by Friday evening I’m so worn out from work that a night on the town is about the last thing on my mind. Such was the case last night. I turned in hopelessly early and had no trouble fading into dreamland.

I woke around 2 a.m., and have no idea why. Nothing in particular brought me out of my sleep, like a loud noise or a cat seeking attention, or even a particularly unpleasant dream. No, I just sort of opened my eyes, and the pitch darkness of the night seemed to beckon to me: Geez, haven’t you slept long enough? I was on the verge of being ready for the new day. Too early!!

So I got up, went into the bathroom, quickly did what nature called on me to do, and then flushed the toilet, hoping the sound wouldn’t wake up the others in the house at such a late hour.

Little did I know ….

There’s nothing more depressing at 2 a.m. than watching a backed up toilet fill to the top of the bowl with disgustingly dirty water … and then keep rising. You find yourself standing there in front of that bowl, pleading with it to stop, to resist the urge to go any further, to please have a little consideration at such an inconvenient hour — like the toilet is poised to look up at you and say, Hey, sorry, nothing I can do about it. Isn’t it strange the way a toilet that’s backing up sometimes stops just as it reaches the tipping point? And then, of course, there are nights like this one.

Over the side it went, all that dirty water, flooding my bathroom floor. There isn’t a whole heck of a lot you can do at moments like this, except stand there and feel depressed and defeated. My first urge was to turn and walk away, with the justification that it was, after all, the middle of the night, and who fights overflowing toilets at 2 a.m.? Even insomniacs have to figure they’ve got better things to do.

But I didn’t walk away. With three other people living in my house, I wasn’t about to let any of them wander into the bathroom first thing in the morning and discover, to their horror, what lies awaiting them. So out into the kitchen I went, then back into the bathroom I waded, armed majestically with paper towels and disinfectant spray. I also spent copious amonts of time applying that plunger to the toilet, wondering as I did if someone had died while using it, fallen in, and gotten stuck in one of the pipes. It sort of felt that way for a while.

How can one toilet be so much trouble?
After you’ve spent a half hour dealing with something like this, let me tell you, getting back into bed doesn’t exactly lead instantly to sleep. I sat there in bed, listening to the perfect sleeping conditions — total silence everywhere — but knowing sleep was now a distant memory.
 I suppose it was just one of those nights, when everything seems to go a little haywire. I can deal with that, I suppose, if the other six nights during the week are relatively groovin’.  But I did wish I could have woken up to a bright sunny day, beckoning me outside my house to happiness and bliss.  The rain made it seem depressing, like everyone was ganging up on me just because I went to bed early. I know that’s not quite what was going on here, but when you’re feeling down, I guess you grasp for creative excuses.

It’s sunny now. The rain is gone. I’ve strolled around my front garden and my plants look happier today, so they’ve made me happy as well. Now if I can only overcome the enormous anxiety I have about stepping into my bathroom for the first time since 2:30 a.m. My poor neighbor has got to be wondering by now why I keep ringing his doorbell, asking if I could run to the john one more time ….

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When Restrooms Go Wild -- a possible reality show?

Contact Mike Freeman at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.

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