Monday, July 21, 2008

on building new things

Is being in the midst of construction ever pleasant? It’s not as tedious as going to the dentist, or maybe it is because I wake up to the sound of drilling upstairs in the unit above me and I think, oh my, that is one unpleasant sound.

The thing is, the unit was finished many many months ago. So why the pounding and sawing again? And will it ever stop? Wanting an image of an end date, I go upstairs, only to find that the sound is really coming from the unit two doors down. That one is nowhere near done. Sound travels in odd ways.

Late in the morning I try out the new bike path that connects the VA hospital with campus. Since it is easy for me to use only bike paths and parking lots to get to the VA hospital from my condo, I welcome this addition. It’s no looker, but it's hugely convenient. Speed. It offers speed.

001 copy
Purchase photo 1905

Except that the path has trucks on it and it dead ends suddenly and it’s all because of construction and I sigh in resignation and go back to the lake path. Pretty, here, by the lake. A little out of my way, but today I am in no hurry.

006 copy
Purchase photo 1904

But wait. After leaving the lake path, as always I cut through the Shorewood neighborhood. Except I cannot, because the road is ripped up and I have to toddle back and weave in and out until I end up adding miles and dirt to my bike tires.

The last stretch is up the steep hill to my condo. I pass a block of dusty pits and pools of water that will never dry of their own accord and I long for construction to move the project of building the new Whole Foods forward. It’s been a deconstructed mess far too long and I can hardly stand looking at the abandoned nothingness.

Upstairs, I settle in to work on my lectures until the sound of the sawing and hammering drives me outside to pace the streets and curse the sound of construction.

I would bike to Ed’s, but there I am reminded that we haven’t done much with the construction of the writer’s shed (even as Amos is moving ahead with his part of the work). My greatest effort has been mowing the lawn around the site. A nothing step, taken by a person who knows next to nothing about construction. Except that it takes time and it requires tools that make noise.