Merge Wright: The New River Runs Through Here


The New River runs through here

It was years ago, a busy day that started at 6 am with a cup of green tea and my fingers dancing on the keyboard assembling letters of the alphabet into intelligible data for a multitude of media. Drifting several times to the Florida keys looking for my lost shaker of salt that I thought was near a big palm tree. As the morning passed my trips to the beach became more frequent, my visits longer.  I was wakened by Lucy yelling up to the loft, “Hey Merge, ya want some lunch it’s 1:30?” Wow, I had not broken the fast and was speeding past lunch hour. I shouted back, “Sure, let me grab a shower, shave and clean up first.” Thirty minutes later completely refreshed, feeling ready to take on the neighborhood (I gave up taking on the world 30 years ago) I enthusiastically pop into the kitchen for a bowl of soup and tuna salad sandwich. I don’t know how they did it in the old days going for weeks, sometime months, without a shower or probably baths back then. A shower not only cleanses the skin I’m in but my soul too. It’s like an inside out car wash. So I’m into my soup and tuna when I turn to Lucy and say, “There’s water running somewhere are you doing dishes or laundry?” “Just the dishwasher,” she responds. I take another bite and say something isn’t right, it sounds like water rushing through the walls somewhere. It reminds me of the roar of the New River in West Virginia where I took the kids rafting years ago.

I get up to investigate and seconds later from the bathroom yell, “Lucy, come here it’s in this wall and it’s pretty bad.” We check the bedroom for water, the utility room off the kitchen shutting off the water main, the living room, the outside wall, the outside wall on the outside and there’s no water anywhere. Something’s wrong that water has to be going somewhere. I called the chamber of commerce, “Quick give me the name of a reliable plumber we have major plumbing problems.” Jason, yes I know Jason great I’ll call you later.” I get Jason on the phone and explain the emergency he’s on the road at the time and only two miles away and could arrive in minutes. When his truck pulled up I had the door wide open with Lucy directing him to the crisis area. He listens, “Merge, it doesn’t sound good, you’ve got a major problem here where’s the opening to get into that wall,” he asks. There is none,” I reply. We can’t figure out where the waters going, it’s a complete mystery. And then just seconds before calling in one of the big plumbing and water damage companies, Jason in his stocking feet steps into the shower and there on the rack hanging from the shower head where the shampoo, soap, etc., are domiciled was my razor and it was buzzing like a huge bee hive but it’s buzz was muffled by the fact that it was causing the metal rack it was on to vibrate against the wall causing the wall to sound like it had a raging river running through it. Unbelievable but true. It must have happened after my quick shower and shave 15 minutes earlier. I never used the buzz except when I first got it, the battery was still in it but it hadn’t been turned on in months. Evidently something moved or shifted on the rack turning it on. Strange occurrence but I felt so stupid. Jason, “What do I owe you buddy?” I asked. “Merge, absolutely nothing this story will last me a good six months,” he responded. I looked at Lucy and said that phrase we have to say at our house when we do something stupid. “I’m a dummy, I’m a dummy, I’m a dummy.” It kind of brings one back to reality that we all make mistakes from time to time. I looked at Lucy and said, “That was the first one in what about 7 years right?” “Well if memory serves me correctly a similar incident occurred last week but you left the building before you could utter the dummy phrase.” I plead not guilty and rested my case. I removed the battery and headed out to the garage to see what I could mess up out there. I did whisper to myself I’m a dummy, I’m a dummy, I’m a dummy when I got in the garage. Everything was finally good again..

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