The hour is the fourth of the a.m. variety. The current soundtrack is a curated playlist on Apple Music. My Keurig coffee brewer rages on into the early morning hours, it does not go gentle into that good night. Adorned with a green flannel over my old middle school t-shirt, I sit, awake, behind the blue light of my computer screen. The Velvet Underground now plays. I chew the end of my coffee stirrer into a twisted mangle of brown plastic. I think about what to write next. What could I possibly produce at this ungodly hour? I suppose with the next sentence you will begin to peel back another layer of this editorial onion. Summer is dragging on like an awkward social interaction. Perhaps with just as much sweat. Fall & winter have always been my favorites of the seasons. I’m greedy so I get two seasons. I mean, fall is just a poor man’s winter anyway. This summer is just brutal in terms of the heat. I am extremely privileged in the fact that I not only work indoors but from home as well. I recently had quite an unnerving experience with our air conditioning unit a couple of days ago. I went out to the garage to get something from the chest freezer when I noticed Lake Michigan forming on the floor. I followed the puddle back to its source. The air conditioner.
Now, this whole time the unit was working perfectly. Always keeping the house on the chilly side of a comfortable 70-73 degrees. It did not seem to be leaking Freon from what I could gather. It was from the condensate line. At least that was my suspicion. As we contemplated contacting the landlord over the issue, I did some research on my own. We didn’t jump to making a service call as the handyman that is always sent out by our landlord is sort of a country bumpkin old man who I’m convinced is actually retired and works under the table. After just two or three YouTube videos my suspicion was proven correct. I attached my Shop-Vac hose to the condensate line’s exit outside with a little duct tape. I guess I’m a bit of a country bumpkin now too. That’s the unwritten clause of using duct tape. I let the vac run for about a minute or two. I could feel the strength of the seal I had created between the immobile PVC pipe protruding from the Earth and the dusty, old vacuum hose. As the forced draining continued, I could feel intermittent bursts of water traveling through the hose. Almost like an irregular heartbeat. When water from condensation runs through a PVC pipe with one end exposed to the elements, it is bound to form algae. This algae coagulates and creates a blockage in the condensate line. Nothing a powerful, little Shop-Vac can’t handle. After just a few moments I noticed the sound of the vacuum had changed. It sounded… less thick. I turned of the power and opened the top of the machine. In the refuse bucket, on which the business end of the contraption sits, was about 2 gallons of greenish brown water and floating chunks of algae.
This was just a couple of days ago and so far the floor has stayed dry as an old bone. I must say as proud as I am of this accomplishment and avoidance of that “David” character, I am still a bit hesitant. I want to keep an eye on the garage floor around the unit for a few more days. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I just do hope that we will not ever have to go without an air conditioning unit for our home. I went through a couple of AC-less summers in my mother’s second floor condo when I was a child. The air conditioning unit was who knows how old and it was a lot of money to replace once it had finally died. If my memory serves me at all I think I remember my grandparents were the ones who footed the bill for the new unit. But before that the condo was box fan city. It was so miserably hot that I distinctly remember one afternoon we “had” some strawberry ice cream. I gave the quotes there because we really didn’t eat any of it. Instead, mom thought of a fun way to let her kids cool each other off. She sat my brother Sam, and I at opposing sides of the dining table facing each other. Next our t-shirts came off. Smart lady, saving time on the laundry later. Then we each got a nice big bowl of strawberry ice cream. The good shit too. The kind with the little chunks of actual strawberry in it. Anyway, we get these bowls but alas there are no spoons in sight! As if she could read the “what the hell?” look on our faces, mom then produced each of us a Popsicle stick. The big kind. I think technically they are tongue depressors. “Paint each others’ faces.” she said and that was all the instruction she needed to give.
I don’t remember how long that lasted until our oils and acrylics turned to chunky strawberry soup, but that is clearly one memory I’ll never forget. It will most certainly be an experience I will jubilantly share with my children one day – that is if I have children one day. Who knows? For now I’ve got enough to figure out for my own sake. School starts in pretty much exactly a month. August 29th is day one of my collegiate career. I am excited for everything except math. That is where the nerves set in. But I happen to live with an excellent student who excels in math and has offered to tutor me. Free of charge minus doing an extra load of laundry here and there. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. And of course you’re asking me. That’s why you’re reading this bloody blog, isn’t it? To learn my opinion – my point of view – on whatever it is that is currently doing the Charleston across my brain. Sometimes it isn’t doing the Charleston. Sometimes it is more like a Paso Doble. Holy shit. I watch one season of Dancing With The Stars and I’m throwing around Paso Doble?! Damn, maybe I should be getting some sleep. I must be slipping. I think this is also one of my largest blog posts, if not the largest already. So I think it must be a good time as any to sign off for now. Until next time… I will think of a better outro statement. Peace everyone!