house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

44 days, 7

Man, this day labourer job is hard work. There's a muddy trench snaking up and across the wall. Cheeta makes an earth plaster, I carry the bucket and start filling it. The red ooze goes everywhere, coats everything, but it WON'T stay on the wall. An age later, it's done although at first glance it looks like I've gone and plastered myself, including hair, eyeballs, the insides of pockets and even, EVEN the white skin, you know, between finger and wedding ring.

Next job: stand on a tottering step ladder holding up heavy sheets of plasterboard while Cheeta looks for his drill, waits for the batteries to charge, finds screws, drops screws, gets up same rickety ladder and finally attaches the stupid thing to the ceiling. By the third sheet of plasterboard, I feel like Atlas and my hair is white.

When that's done and my upper arms have stopped going into involuntary spasm, another plaster is made, white this time, to cover the spaces between sheets of plasterboard. This involves standing on top of the step ladder with a pot of plaster between my knees and a trowel in each hand; head bent backwards so far, as if I'm trying to see my own wings; when in fact all I see is ceiling, ceiling, ceiling.

Throughout all this, I think of all those people in offices, people who stare at screens, people who go from cubicle to cubicle carrying papers until someone taps them on the shoulders saying 'Come on Jane, you don't want to miss your own retirement party now, do you dear?'. Blue corner. In the red corner, shuffling builders and labourers, spattered with paint and plaster, moving from building site to building site, lifetimes of the same cement mix, the same hammer, the same bucket of dirty water.

Of course I'm a fraud in both places, but just now I'm happy, because it's our own house and I'm lucky to be able to finish it with my own hands (and then you know what I'd really like to do, you know don't you?)


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