The hazards of city life take their toll, and I move to a small seaside town
built of wooden houses. Unfortunately, I become involved in a dispute with my
next-door neighbour. That matter escalates to the point where he feels the need
to involve his hard-drinking friends. One evening, drowning my sorrows at the
tavern, I learn that my neighbour plans to burn down my house. The information
distresses me considerably, and I decide to take evasive action. Returning to my
house, I turn on all the taps, and with a hose I drench the walls and contents of
the building. I sneak out of the flooded kitchen and hide in nearby sand-dunes.
Sure enough, later that night my neighbour and a gang of angry drunks approach my
house with flaming torches. In vain, they try to set fire to the soaking wooden
structure, but it is simply too wet to catch light. Hidden in the dunes, I
chuckle with delight at having outwitted my neighbour.
The next day, in the
grocery store, I am pinned to the wall by the shopkeeper. He tells me he is good
friends with my neighbour, and accuses me of underhand tricks. I tell him I
don't know what he means, but he says no-one but me would deliberately drench
their own house with water simply to spoil his neighbour's fun. He tells me that
killjoys like me have no place in a real community.
At home I sit on the wet
sofa, pondering the nature of my existence.
Later I wander the house, turning
off the taps, one by one.