This is a post about water. It's everywhere in Pittsburgh. Too much of it. The air lately has been so full of water I honestly feel that I can see it, that if I breathe out heavily enough I'll make a space for myself in the wet haze.
Mid-week, the dew point reached 75 with over 65% humidity. While I don't have a great understanding of meteorology, I take this to mean that the vast majority of the air was water. It's been wreaking havoc on my sinuses as rugby practice gets going and crew practice builds in intensity. This week, when I got splashed with river water I honestly didn't even feel it, and it wasn't because we were just rowing too fast to notice.
What surprises me most about the moisture (and the torrential downpours that do nothing to relieve the humidity) is my new thought process since becoming a homeowner. As I stand in the rain, a little bit of stinging rain, as Forrest Gump would say, I think briefly of my misery and then dwell on the condition of the basement. Have we taken on water again? Will one box of baking soda be enough to fight off the mildew smell??
When I encounter strangers, I find myself engaging in the small talk I so greatly despise. Hey Jim, how about this weather? Did you get any water in your basement??? Only I'm not really saying these things as a substitute for real interaction. I really care about people's basements. I really want to hear what other Pittsburghians do to dry those suckers out.
Yesterday, it rained so much that rugby practice was canceled. For the non-ruggers among the seven readers out there, this is a big deal. Rugby is never canceled. Ever. As I had no power due to the electrical storm, I didn't receive the message and drove through a small landslide only to discover myself alone among a field of soggy homeless men.
Corey and I drove instead to a Thai restaurant with partial power to eat dinner by the light of a huge bug zapper and worried more about the house. Have our windows been properly sealed against moisture? Should we have a roofer come check the chimney flashing? Ignoring our enormous pit stains and lower-back-sweat puddles is a true sign that something has changed in me. I have replaced an opportunity for incessant whining with genuine concerns, something concrete to worry about. The tides of these swollen rivers have turned.