I am trying to focus and concentrate. Studying is not easy when there are distractions around. I like a quiet environment conducive to contemplation and thought. I don’t always get this in my apartment. It’s not the noisy neighbors or the traffic outside. It is not a distant lawn mower or a baking dog. Neither is it children playing in the street or the sound of music in the unit below. It is constant drip, drip, drip of the kitchen faucet, and I need a plumber to fix it right now. It’s not one of those cheap ones either – it certainly appears to be one of the Finest Faucets that money can buy.
A leaky sink is annoying, and you don’t need aggravation when a mid-term text is looming on the horizon. There is enough pressure involved. At his point in the semester, I am too busy to even call for repair. I try twisting the knobs tightly and hoping for a reprieve. Not going to happen. I put a bowl under the faucet, but the sound is even worse. I am going to have to resort to earplugs to continue my reading.
This is also not a viable solution as I cannot talk on the phone nor hear the doorbell. Sometimes the landlord comes calling or the postman needs a signature. You can’t anticipate, so you don’t want to take drastic measures that will interfere with daily life.
Drip, drip, drip. The drone goes on. I am going to go mad! I try putting on some music, first with my earbuds and then in the entire apartment. It should camouflage the recurrent sounds. It does, but in point of fact, I still know it is there—like Chinese water torture, it inflicts its damage. Now it is psychological and well beyond the annoying stage. It is taking its toll on my mind!
Drip, drip, drip. I can hear it laughing at me insidiously. It tells me that I won’t pass that test or get that essay in on time. It tells me to get up and call the plumber, but I won’t succumb. I would just have to wait hours for him and not return to the task at hand until the job was done. No, there must be a way out of this water nightmare, and I have to think fast.
I plug up the faucet opening with a bit of cheese cloth I found in a kitchen drawer, but it acts like a sieve to no avail. I move myself to the living room in spite of the loss of my worktable of choice. I am not comfortable there. The light is better in the kitchen and much needed for concentration.
So what next? I have a small bedroom, not conducive to study. If I work while in bed, I always fall asleep. The bathroom is out of the question. I go back to the kitchen and start to look around. I find a small wrench too small for the faucet. I find a plastic bowl that may muffle the water-dropping sounds. I do a million things in my mind until I finally call the landlord. He kindly offers to call the plumber himself, and adds, “what took you so long?”