Wednesday, April 06, 2011

rough roads

I admit it – I’m driving the car more. In three weeks, I went through a whole tank of gas. (Before, it would take me three months. Or longer.) I don’t really mind. Even as Reliable Red, my friend the bicycle, is suffering from the neglect.

And here’s another person whom I think is showing signs of weariness (if not neglect): my occasional traveling companion (who is soon to inherit the title of Landlord, I suppose).

I drive over to the farmette on my way to the office. Ed is there, having spent half the night up among the layers of insulation in the tight attic space, installing the required bathroom vent.

He paces a little, spot checks one thing, points to something else. There is a lot of noisy activity at the farmhouse today. Not only from Andy and his grandsons. The floor finishing guys are at it, making a racket with their sanding machines.

 DSC06534 - Version 2

Time is of essence. Finishing floors means you can’t stomp on them for several days. Andy had to sync this with the other people coming through – the counter guys, the plumber, the electrical inspector, the appliance person. To say nothing of my movers, ready to haul big furniture over, two weeks from today.


Ed is finding little things that he would have improved, given more time. He is that way – methodical, careful, not in a hurry. This week’s pace at the farmhouse is unnerving him. He looks like he’d like everyone to clear out and take a break. Like maybe for six months. Take stock. Contemplate. Resume at some later time. Don’t know when.

After work, I make a solo run to Home Depot. Grout, adhesive – I need to pick these up.

I get the wrong kind. Or, at least, Ed speculates that I may have done better with something that's easier to keep clean.

Was that my “the hell with this” moment? No, not just yet.

Evening. The construction crew is gone for the day. The sun is fading. I rake the ditches the trucks have made in the dirt path leading to the farmhouse. Ed is getting ready to move a huge freezer from the foyer to the basement. I’ve been egging him to get on this for weeks (months?), but, for understandable reasons, he has put it off. It’s a hell job to do alone and he will not ask for help.

I linger. I have a cell phone. I can call 911 if the thing crashes on the way down the rickety stairs.

But, Ed’s taking his time. First, we need to move some things around in the basement. And pick up some debris (for example, mouse droppings) after moving things around.

The basement is at this point 1.) somewhat wet from a busted pipe, and 2.) dusty beyond belief. All things I’ve moved thus far from the condo are here, in the basement. All covered now in dust.
Ed contemplates moving a stack of shelves over to make room for the freezer. So much junk on those shelves! Jars from a jamming project years ago. Plastic containers, pots of clay. Throw this away! Maybe I’ll Craigs list it...

Oh God.

Shelves are moved, more mouse droppings, more dust, cobwebs, I’m reeling.

You better go back to the condo.
I can’t. I need to watch you move the freezer down these stairs. You’ll trip, you’ll lose the grip, you’ll get pinned down. I can call 911.
Go, you’re making me nervous. I need to keep to my own pace.

Outside, somewhere at the edge of the path, a dozen crocuses are blooming their lovely heads off. Who cares, who even knows!

I get into my battered red car and drive home. A police vehicel chases me all the way down the country roads until I reach the Beltline. I don’t know why. Maybe he doesn’t like my 93 Ford Escort.