A Bizarre Sequence of Events.


Yesterday was a strangely clashing day:   a mixture of pretty good, somewhat disastrous, with a big ol' heaping helping of just plain bizarre....

It was one of those days where you wonder if you haven't stepped into a parallel universe... or maybe this is just a Professor Binns moment - the sort of moment where you just keep on doing what you're doing, without realizing the world around you is officially on a different track from you.

Yesterday afternoon, I had the strangest experience, and even today, I find myself alternating between quiet laughter, and being kind of spooked.

This strange experience happened in the master bathroom of my condo, and centers around a metal, three-shelf etagere, fitted neatly and tightly around the toilet and plumbing.   It is firmly in-place, unable to be tipped over, or shifted off-balance.  It sits closely to the mirrored wall behind it, but does not touch it.

On my etagere, in keeping with my vaguely 1930's, early Hollywood Regency theme, I have several small silver trays on the lower two shelves.   Sitting on these little trays are half-a-dozen bottles of nail polish, and some perfume bottles, a couple of  lidded powder bowls - one is Wedgewood, the other is crystal and porcelain.    There is also a bowl-shaped candle holder, made of some sort of composite resin, in a filigree pattern that is painted silver.   Quite pretty!

On the top shelf, in the place of honor, is my lead-crystal jaguar figurine, flanked by two, very heavy, lead crystal candlesticks   Those candlesticks weigh probably 3-4 pounds apiece.   This is a significant detail to my story...

Yesterday afternoon, I sat down on the toilet...  hold on, this is simply where my story begins.   Don't freak out.   I promise, there is not any additional TMI.   When I sat down, I could swear I did not touch or bump ANYTHING.   I did not, to my recollection, even sit down heavily...

About a two seconds after I sat down, one of the crystal candlesticks sailed through the air, and clipped the back of my head, followed closely by the other candlestick, which came down heavily on my right shoulder.  

It felt like something threw those candlesticks at me.

Not even a full second after that, everything on the top two shelves came crashing down.   The reverberation of sound was enormous.   I leaped away from the sound, and landed, cat-like, several feet away by the bathroom door.   In the confusion, I thought the mirror had shattered and was raining down.   That is what it sounded like, anyway.

As I drew in a ragged and shaky breath, I realized several things:

  • The mirror had not shattered, or cracked, or so much as had a single scratch.   
  • The etagere was perfectly intact, standing where it has always been.   T
  • he shelves hadn't collapsed, nor had the frame bent.   

But nearly everything on the top two shelves was either relocated down one shelf, or landed on the floor entirely.   Only the powder boxes stayed put.    Everything on the lowest shelf had been knocked over.

I started laughing hysterically, a little freaked out, and started assessing the damage:

The crystal jaguar somehow managed to land on the middle shelf (which is weird because there isn't really space between the shelves and the mirror).   It was completely and entirely unharmed, nestled between two very fragile powder boxes.  The powder dishes had moved as if to make room for the jaguar - but were perfect and untouched.    Both candlesticks had hit the floor - one had a shattered end, but the other was suffered no damage - not so much as a chip or a scratch.

Sadly, I lost the silver composite candle bowl - the base and some of the decorative filigree shattered into tiny pieces and scattered everywhere.

Thankfully, the bottle of Angel Rose that was still half full, and hit the floor... was intact as well.   I am profoundly grateful I didn't have to clean up a perfume spill.

My sister's reaction at this point was "Weird.  Better burn some sage or something"

I think I had better, too.   Because as I looked at everything, and started sorting through the small pile of rubble surrounding the toilet, I realized that there was no easily logical explanation for what had happened.   The only thing I can think of is, in super-strange event horizon, someone downstairs or in the connected unit slammed a door, setting off a potentially deadly and sinister, but strangely impressive Rube Goldberg domino effect, starting with one, keystone candlestick.

I could not stop laughing.   I admit, I was totally freaked out.   Because even as logic presented itself and sorted itself in my mind... I can still recall the surprise of the impact of heavy object hitting the back of my skull.   Being found, pants down, slumped unconscious on the toilet, is not how I ever want to spend an afternoon of my life.

I was left with a sickly headache that seemed to be equal parts sore scalp, bruised shoulder, and adrenaline hangover, but by the time I got to the flamenco workshop, the advil and coffee had done their work.   And so I laughed it off as part of a strange day.

But the weirdness of my day was not yet over... two hours into the workshop, I had a text from JC.   There was a backup of filthy water  from the condo building's network pipe, located in the laundry closet.   He had just sat down to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich, when he heard a gurgle, gurgle, and turned in time, to see the water bubble up, geyser-like, and flooded most of his condo.

Today, the problem - still mysterious - has been resolved, and now we have moved on to the clean-up part of the process.

I did not think there was anything that could possibly upstage being struck in the back of the head by a blunt object while on the can... but there you go.   I stand corrected.


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