Bathroom Social Meeting

The groaning in the pipes should’ve been the first warning sign. It certainly was for Roger Patten. He was a greying, 62-year-old man who prided himself on being on top of things. Not a single day in his life had he been thrown for a loop. ‘Roll with the punches,’ someone would say, but he would scoff at that.

No reason to roll with the punches if you can see them coming, he’d always pointed out. Every day he would reasonably predict what was coming next. Some might’ve said he was paranoid. That’s what his brother had said to him after his first consecutive two weeks of staying indoors by himself after moving to a new house.

“I enjoy my own company, what of it?” he’d bite back, gruffly sipping at the dark cloud of coffee swirling in his cup. He wedged the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he picked up his raisin toast, enjoying the familiar taste. 

His brother stayed silent for a couple of seconds, just enough for Roger to take another bite, before he changed the subject and said: “Any ideas for the bathroom renovations?” Beaumaris was a long way away from his brother’s sunny life in Sydney. After his move, the only topic his brother seemed to think they could connect was what Roger was getting up to with his new house.

He didn’t mind though; it kept any small talk well off the table. It also made him satisfied to talk about the recent repairs or building work he had done on the house. Having made a little corner of paradise for himself, or a hermit hole as his brother would say, gave meaning to his usual daily routine. 

The only thing that bothered Roger about the topic was that it reminded him that his plumbing had started making strange noises recently. It was irritating because it was unusual, and he didn’t like that one bit. Growing into the old age that he was, he knew he’d have to get help and book bathroom renovations with a local company. “Sandringham has plenty of reliable workers,” he answered his brother, taking another sip of his coffee. “Affordable too. Shouldn’t be too much trouble.”

His brother replied but Roger’s brain had picked up once again on that strange noise. Realising that his brother had begun talking about a frivolous topic he had no interest in, he put the phone down and peered into the bathroom. He could still hear his brother rambling on from the kitchen, but it was nothing compared to the groaning noise that thundered as he opened the door.

He traced the sound to the sink and squinted at it blankly. Same white basin that needed a refurnish. Black old taps that needed to be replaced for a more modern version. Everything that he had noted down in his future plans except for one thing. Roger leaned down to get a closer look. There, peeking out from the bottom of the tap, was an entirely unexpected thing. One big, round eye poked out from the tap, attached to a long, green arm. 

For once, Roger was speechless.

Comments are closed.