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Broken Pattern — If Only You Knew: A Laugh or Cry Look

By Teresa Bruce

My phone fought me first. It froze me out, cut me off, and refused to respond. It couldn’t have curtailed communications any better if it had been thrown into a pond by Sun Tzu.

Meanwhile, my washing machine wobbled its way into the rebellion. It acted out by spinning tales of trust instead of laundry. We negotiated a truce, and I made a promise: I’d reach deep into the heart of the matter and rebalance every load, no matter how many times it took — even unto seventy times seventy — and it’d just keep spinnin’.To find an expert appliance repair technician from The Baltimore Appliance Repair Shop, visit this link for all the information regarding their areas of expertise.curved steel, perforated, washer tub

As that dirt-rinsing deal drained me dry, I took consolation in keeping if not control at least containment on the appliance and gadget alliance.

’Twas the week before Christmas, with guests in my house, when the septic tank took sides. The pump jumped into the skirmish and landed with a splash in the sludge. (It wasn’t pretty. And the cost of replacement was nearly as gritty.)

These aspects of adversity come in threes, they say, so I held up my end of the treaty to keep the washer at bay while it kept wringing me along.

If only I knew . . .

In less than a month, my microwave threw a mighty tantrum, popping not corn but arcs of sparks.

Before long, the bedroom fan refused requisitions to turn its blades in my defense against the forces of hot flashes and humidity. I seized a substitute, its sibling from another sleep sector, but it squeaked and creaked such strong protests, I banished it back to its traitorous brother.

For the most part, the fridge ran along the fence, claiming neutrality while freezing and cooling yet also drooling untraceable dribbles. glass shards, tomato sauce splatter, tile floor, broken jar Its passive-aggressive part in the pact coated lettuce in ice by day and tossed tomato sauce (and its glass jar) onto tile by night — at 12:15 a.m., to be precise (which casualty created a quicker cleanup than the Curious Incident of the Glass Honey Jar in the Later Night-Time — 3:30 a.m. — a dogfight of a different front).

The dryer defected during the detente with its next-door neighbor, deigning to do nothing — blowing only if I pushed the proper button and only while I pressed that persnickety button. The second I stopped, so did it. Turned out, it didn’t matter. Turning at all, it would not. center dryer hub, circle, hexagon, steel, ventilation holes

One saturated Saturday soon after, the washer’s spirit went AWOL, abandoning a week’s worth of washing despite our deal. One hundred ten minutes of waterlogged wringing and hanging and weary haranguing left me leaving the laundry room in a mood full of gloom.

The next fortnight I learned I still had the skill to push a contrary car — though not very far. (Thank heaven for the two young, strong guys who stopped to help, whoever they are!)

When, six hours later, the kitchen sink clogged, I stared at the water that wouldn’t go down. enamel sink, clog, suds, water, drain I started to sob over spilt, milky-gray suds, but the sound that came out was a guffawing buzz. I laughed at the house (and I might have cried too) as I withdrew from the water and told it good night. Surely, it would drain itself long before first light.

It didn’t (of course) until after church, when I poured half a bottle of toxic drain cleaner that smelled worse than awful. But once the sink worked, I felt triumph. I did it!

Next day, my mechanic called with condolences. The car could keep running — for a cost near four digits.

For the sake of my household, I’m glad to announce the breaking of “Patterns” as Segullah Blog’s (and my house’s) past-quarter theme. And I’m hoping — oh, I’m hoping! — for relief in reflection (needing no home inspection!) as we invite introspection, a continuation of our Spring Journal’s contest theme in the new quarter: “If Only You Knew . . .”

About Teresa Bruce

Teresa TL Bruce burrows into stories for work and fun. She’s published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Kids, Florida Writers Association Collections, Florida State Poets Association anthologies, Segullah's Seasons of Change, and Orlando's The Community Paper, and she was a finalist in NYC Midnight’s 2014 Flash Fiction Challenge. Teresa advises “What to Say When Someone Dies” on TealAshes.com. She’s proudest of her three dynamic daughters, super sons-in-law, adorable grandchildren, and spoiled rescue dog.

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