This is my sump pump. Well, it’s the well of water in which my sump pump is immersed. The thing isn’t working right now because there isn’t any electricity. We’re about to go on day four of this. Early on in day two I realized what happened to my basement when the sump pump didn’t have electricity. Since then, I’ve been scooping the water out of the well with a metal bowl into a big orange bucket and emptying that into a toilet. I do this every four hours or so. If I forget for too long, the wetness creeps up and in. It spreads like an infection.

It’s satisfying to hear the toilet flush each new load of water I bring to it down. It’s satisfying the same way it’s satisfying to cough up phlegm or make a tremendous burp.

In Texas, homes don’t usually have sump pumps. Because there aren’t basements. I reckon when there aren’t basements all you really need is a good clear drain.

If you had asked me what a sump pump was before I moved to Jersey I might have offered that it was a type of handshake.

Tonight I’m in a hotel shopping for generators.