We were in bed in the studio apartment. The TV was on. My wife got up to fill the teapot. When she turned on the tap water started spilling from under the sink and across the floor. Jesus Christ, she said.
She turned off the tap. Water continued to pour across the hardwood floor.
I took the mop from the closet and started pushing the water towards the drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. Soon there was a large puddle in the middle of the apartment which nearly reached the bed at one end and the front door at the other.
A few minutes later the maintenance man came to the door. He wore glasses and had a pockmarked face. He wasn’t very tall. He carried a black box of tools in one hand and a clipboard in the other.
뭐가 문제예요? He said to my wife without looking at me.
새는 곳! My wife replied, pointing to the floor.
The man put down his box of tools beside the door where the water hadn’t gotten to yet. He took out a flashlight and a wrench and waded to the center of the puddle and peered under the sink.
파이프가 터졌어, the man said over his shoulder. He stood up. 오늘은고칠 수 없어, he said to
배관공이 내일 올거야, the man said. He put the wrench and the flashlight back in his toolbox
My wife stood in the middle of the puddle on the floor. The man stood in the doorway. I sat on the bed. I had no idea what they were saying, but I could tell my wife was getting angry.
내가 고칠 수없습니다. 그에게 그것을 해결하기 위해 물어보세요. The man gestured in my direction.
아저씨 날 알아요? My wife asked, her voice quivering.
모르지. The man was staring in my wife’s direction, over her shoulder. It seemed he was looking at the wall on the other side of the apartment.
왜 무례? Her voice was high. She was shaking a little bit.
내가 당신 아버지나이. 벌이야. He cocked his head to the side and waved his hands.
고치는거! My wife was nearly shouting.
아가씨랑 말장난 할 시간 없어. 배관공이 내일 아침에 올거야. The man picked up his toolbox and stepped out into the hallway.
The maintenance man slammed the door. My wife locked the door and sat on the bed beside me.
We have no water until tomorrow. She looked very tired. You know something? You never stand up for me. Never. Why is that?
I didn’t have an answer for her. I stood up and took the mop from the bathroom and started to clean up the mess on the floor. We watched TV for a while and after that we went to sleep.
Jay MacLeod is from Calgary, Alberta. He currently lives in Toronto. His book of poetry The Republic of Naught is available as a free download from Philistine Press: http://www.
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