I don’t hate clogged drains for the reason you might think. The soggy, crime-scene clumps of mangled hair don’t bother me so much as the ostentatious nature of a clogged drain itself.
I hate clogged drains because they demand attention. They refuse to cooperate. They’re masters of high drama and, distracted by this display, you don’t know you have a problem until it’s practically too late.
Facing a clogged drain, you’re left to wonder what could be down there, left to wonder where you went wrong. Did someone forget or did someone refuse to dispose her clay facemask into the trash and not into the sink? Could you be losing hair at an alarming rate? Could you be losing your mind? Or is it something deeper and more dangerous, a flaw in the pipes that could leach poop water through the foundation’s cracks at any moment?
Clogged drains push you to think about these things. A sink or tub filling up with the murky water you’d planned to discard is too neat a portrait of suppressed emotions bubbling to the surface, that twirling film of hair, dirt, and suds too reminiscent of mental illness. If bathing is the physical equivalent of mental cleansing, then splashing in your own filth can’t be good.
There is immense relief in clearing a clogged drain. You can’t fully appreciate a clear drain without experiencing the alternative firsthand. With a few glugs of an erosive chemical cocktail, you’re back on track in no time but not quite back to the way things were. The fear of a repeat episode settles in the back of your mind, launching flashbacks to the front lines every time you spit your toothpaste into the tide and count the seconds as it swirls out of sight.
You could argue that’s what a clogged drain wants you to think—that you have no chance of a skating through a clean, clear future, at least not for long. But where there are hiccups along the way or clogs in a drain, there is also ample opportunity for redemption. Aren’t those the moments we all live for anyway?
Image via Flickr.