Friday, November 15, 2013

home improvement

"mammoth. sure. whatever."
what a mess.

it's like living in a barn with yaks who eat spaghetti served up by a paint shaker.

you know what would help? a fire hose and the world's biggest shop-vac. throw open the doors, blast everything out, and suck up whatever's left.

that, or new flooring in just one room.

all we need is that one domino to fall, and everything piled up in the middle of every room will start to go away. one floor goes down, one pile moves to the next room. another floor goes down, another pile moves. move, install. move, install. see how easy?

for want of a single finished floor, an entire house is being lost. inhumed like an ancient civilization under a desert of half-boxed artifacts. if the people from "hoarders" walked in right now, we'd have no chance to convince them they were in the wrong house. paths wind through boxes stacked three high. "have you seen the plastic tray that goes under the lime tree?" yes, as a matter of fact i have seen it, but i couldn't begin to tell you where. and no, i don't know where the lime tree is, either.

interesting psychosocial note: after a while you start to not notice boxes any more. i mean, subconsciously their continued existence is still annoying the sh*t out of you, but consciously you just start to look past them. and around them. and through them. this, i believe, is how humans have survived whilst other species have died out: our ability to pretend there isn't a decomposing mammoth in the middle of the cave. 

"my god, there's a mammoth decomposing in your living room."
"no, there's not."
"right there, next to the couch!"
"i don't see anything. at all. are you sure you're feeling all right?"
"the smell…{gak}"
"don't throw up in here, for god's sake, you'll make a mess!"

have you ever ripped out carpet? lots and lots of carpet? it's like an archeological expedition: you learn things about the people who once lived there, and you experience them in ways you maybe weren't expecting. you also learn that you never, ever want carpet in your house. ever again.

what i learned about the previous owners from ripping out their carpets:
 they didn't mind that "old carpet" look
∙ they enjoyed the beach, and wanted to bring it indoors
∙ they had a (bad) dog

the worst thing about ripping out somebody else's carpet is knowing that you're stirring up years of their, you know, personal dust. just…ackkkk. so, you wear a dust mask and gloves and clothes you don't mind burning later. and you cut into this stuff and the dust poofs up, and you're like, "oh my god, i am now swimming in somebody else's personal dust." but, you keep going because it has to be done and there's no one else to do it, and the clock is ticking...

once the carpet is up and out of the house, you have to go back in for the pad underneath. even though you know everything that was in the carpet is also in the pad. maybe more so. but, it all has to go, so you wade in and rip it up and haul it out. leaving behind…

carpet strips. long strips of sharp little nails that hold the carpet down around the perimeter of every room, every hallway, every single stairstep in the house. nasty, ugly stuff designed not just to keep carpet in place, but to encourage the next homeowner to pay someone else remove it, no matter what the cost.

i would've paid ~ gladly ~ but the missus wasn't having it. "owners do this kind of thing on HGTV all the time," she said. "how hard can it be?"
"not hard at all if you're not the one doing it," i may have muttered.
"what was that?"
"nothing, dear!"

what's today…the 15th? i just got a text telling me that floors will go down in the bedrooms on the 22nd. floors! in one more week! that's'll go by in the blink of an eye. and a year from now no one will remember boxapalooza 2013.

but let a few thousand years go by and let's see how science explains the limes and the spaghetti and the lone swatch of carpet (complete with personal dust) under our floors.