Unclogging the Drain

Unclogging the Drain

The kitchen sink in my dorm appartment has been clogging up for a while. The water would run off, but it was slow-going. Then, slower. And slower. Until yesterday, it was completely jammed.
A sink full of greasy water and floating pieces of tiny lunch scraps. I confess, this is not my favorite sight. But here it was, for me to see. What would I do?

I tried to let the water run off. I scooped some of it out and used a round of drain unclogger. But this only made the kitchen smell like chloric gas. I opened a window.

There was no way around it. I had to open up the drain. Luckily, the kichen has cheap PVC-pipes, so all I needed to do was unscrew them by hand. I looked for a container to catch the gunk. The regular pots were too small, the mop bucket was too big. Reluctantly, I reached for the blue, cast-iron pot. The one that is made for slow-cooking and such dished as Boef Burgungion. Well, no such noble purposes, now. I put it under the pipes and unscrewed the joints. Darkgray water spilled out into the pot. It smelled and looked like a mix of algae and mold. But the gunk itself was still stuck. It took several turns, the help of sticks, and a bit of elbow grease. But then, after about 10 minutes, the last slimy clot had dropped into the pot. I got rid of the dirty water and put the pipes back together. A test run confirmed: The flow was back!

The life lessons I take from this experience:

  1. Things don’t always clog right away. The gunk can build up over time, it can seem harmless, at first. Until it’s not.
  2. You can’t throw a quick fix at a deep issue. You need to get to the heart of the problem.
  3. Unclogging a blockage is not pretty. It can bring up old, long-forgotten secrets. Stuff you don’t want to see. It will even look like a worse mess than the clogged drain. But it’s the only way to clear the blockage.
  4. When the work is done and the flow is back, the joy is great. And you wonder why you waited so long to fix it.

I’ve been “unclogging” a lot of things in my life recently. I wasn’t depressed or in crisis, but I did find myself on an emotional rollercoaster more than once. I could get upset about that. But really, I’m not. Because it means that I’m getting the blockages out. And that the flow is returning to those areas. I prefer the flow to the hidden blockage. How about you?

Photo by Imani on Unsplash

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