Going with the Flow   Leave a comment

The storm blew hard all night. The rain lashed out of the heavens. It rained all night and most of the next day. I thought it would never stop teeming. Eventually it did stop. I looked out the window from upstairs, and saw that the whole neighbourhood was flooded.

I rushed down three flights of stairs to the basement. Just as I had feared the basement was full of water from the overflowing street drains. Some boxes were floating around. I panicked when I saw my belongings, my family belongings, my memories being destroyed. I took off my shoes and waded into the cloudy liquid and started grabbing at boxes of precious objects that represented my whole life. It was hopeless. I didn’t know where to start. I started crying and screaming in despair. After a few minutes I realised that I had to do something if I wanted to save anything. So taking a deep breath I tried to think. What did I want to save? What was most important?

As I thought about my life and family I thought of all the photo albums and framed photos I had. Luckily the photos were in boxes up on shelves. But how was I going to get them down and safely across the rising fluid? I would have to get help. I made my way back to the basement steps. I didn’t want to open the door that led to the steps to the street, as the rainwater was already gushing under the door, so I went up to my front door.

I opened the front door. Paul Wynberg from across the street was brushing mud off his steps. I called his name. Paul stopped brushing and looked up.

“Could you help me please?” I pleaded plaintively.

“I need to get my photos out of the basement before they’re lost forever.” I smiled gratefully.

There and then he pulled off everything except his boxer shorts and braved the deluge.

“I hope you don’t catch something from the drains,” I gasped. But he was in the torrent and making his way across. I helped him up out of the murky flow and led him up to the front door.

“Wait there while I get you a towel,” I said. I went and grabbed an old towel. Paul wiped himself quickly.

“Thanks. I wouldn’t like to drip all over the house,” he laughed.

I led him down the steps to the basement and pointed to the boxes on the shelves. Without hesitation Paul entered the rising water. Dodging boxes and objects floating everywhere, he made his way to the shelves. Using his head and his hands he somehow managed to haul the first box of the shelf. Paul moved slowly back to me balancing the box precariously on his head, with his two hands trying to keep it in place. Between us we heaved it onto the steps and he went back to get 2 more boxes. Once we had all three boxes Paul helped me to carry them up to the next floor.

“You better have a shower after that,” I said practically, “and after that stay for a bite to eat and some wine.”

“Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse,” he grinned.

While he showered I looked in the mirror and tidied myself up. I opened one of the boxes and rummaged around for a certain photo. I found the framed photo and dusted it with a tea-towel. I placed it carefully on the kitchen table. Suddenly I spontaneously decided to go upstairs… the dinner could wait.

Sometime later when we came down to the kitchen Paul lifted up the photo of our wedding day many years ago and looked at me with the question in his eyes.


Posted March 23, 2017 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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