writer's block


Rarely do I have writer’s block. Often I do get in the way of myself and not carve out time to write. That’s not for a lack of words. That’s a different blockage than writer’s block.

Have you heard crickets chirping the last few Hump Days? Ah, yes. Linda Malcolm the writer has been researching. Living. And today, I’ve made the time, and the words are stuck in my fingers like a heavy log jam on a river.

Blockages. They ran rampant in the Malcolm house over the last few weeks. Noses. Sinuses. Chests. Intestines. My head with worry over said noses, sinuses, chests, and intestines. Christmas decorations. Laundry. Sewer lines.

We turned the corner last Thursday with the arrival of loud, heavy equipment necessary to clear a major blockage. Before Christmas the bathtub on the main floor had a bit of funny dirt in it. I wrote it off to someone washing something and not rinsing the tub. Then another day, a different kind of dirt. Thinking someone had ignored the “4 Squares, 4 Squares, Flush” sign,  I gave the toilet a quick plunge. A couple days later, Bill called me while I was out, “The toilet is overflowing!” For no apparent reason.

The town said, not mine! The plumber said, not me! The drain specialist said, for a few hundred dollars I'll shoot a 1-minute video of your sewer line! The drain specialist then said, not mine to fix – I just take the pictures of rocks and roots in the old clay pipes – and recommend that you use 1-ply toilet paper and don’t use your garbage disposal!

Last Thursday, the sewer line specialists pulled in with a back hoe and a jack hammer. Such a welcome sight: a brand new, 4-inch, light cyan green, PVC pipe laying in a 4-foot deep, 42-foot long trench, dug through the year-old grass sod. Honestly, after three weeks of 1-ply – this was indeed a beautiful sight...

If you have a fragile sewer system, you understand: The humidity in an exhale starts the immediate decomposition of 1-ply toilet paper.

With the installation of this new line, all other blockages ceased within three days. Fingers crossed, next week will be a full 5-day school week since before Christmas, with everyone healthy and no holidays, and I will be in this same quiet spot in the library writing a Hump Day Short.

Now, may all the possibilities of a New Year freely flow forward.