Still in a stupor of sleep, I silently curse Maggie, my Alaskan Husky, when I first step onto the soggy carpet just outside the bathroom door around two a.m.. I fumble for the light switch. Failing to connect with it on my first try, I instinctively judge it safer to pee first, and inspect the damages later.
As soon as I turn on the light, I subliminally apologize to Maggie.
The bathroom ceiling is beyond soaked, straining under the weight of water, waiting to break through its belabored gypsum board construction at any moment. It doesn’t take a degree in rocket surgery to come to the conclusion that my upstairs neighbor has either let her bathtub overflow, or has a case of clogged plumbing. But frankly, before my first cup of coffee, I am ill equipped to decide if I should prepare for the deluge, or notify the neighbor first.
I encounter Maggie in the hall, head bowed, giving me a sheepishly guilty look. Even she was wont to blame herself, I note inaudibly as I whisk past her and slip on something more suitable before heading up to the neighbors apartment.
The hall is unusually dim, the overhead light is burned out on the floor above me, so I don’t mind when Maggie pushes ahead of me on the stairs. She yelps discreetly just about the time I imagine she has reached the neighbors door, and as I step onto the landing, I notice the door ajar, a dim light from deep inside the apartment wandering over the door jamb.
“Mabel?” I query quietly as I push the door back just enough to stick my head in. “Mabel? It’s me, Nora. From downstairs.”
It was then I heard the unmistakable sound of water cascading over the side of the tub, and even though Mable doesn’t answer, Maggie and I deem that just cause to enter the older woman’s apartment. Maggie rushes ahead, and in an instant I hear her splashing across what could only be the flooded surface of the bathroom floor.
“Maggie, come here!” I call out, in a feeble attempt to justify our mid-night intrusion, as I follow her through Mabel’s dimly lit apartment. As soon as I can see into the bathroom, I can tell Mabel neither knows nor cares that we have entered her apartment uninvited.
To be continued?
Continued as Maggie’s Mid-night Discovery