You wonder why I get in marital troubles? I am overly optimistic and confident, that’s why! It concerns other things in my life, too, like – renting a new place.
The floor is concrete covered with patches of something my boyfriend calls “solidified cancer”. It has to be scraped off. The wall below the windows looks like a person infected with incurable skin disease. It has to be scraped off and patched up. There are mysterious pipes running through and into the space, some of them plastic, some – rusted metal. What to do about those, has to be seen.
– What is an investment of some materials and work compared to the Eternal Beauty of the view out of the windows? – I said and signed the lease.
So far I had seen the space at 1 PM and loved the light:
– How about laminate?- I said. – We will pad the concrete floor with an insulation material and put the laminate on top. We can get laminate floor for $0.68 a square foot. It will keep the heat in and look pretty.
The dreams of the naive.
We set to work. The floor still had to be scrubbed free from the “solidified cancer”. First with a hammer we loosened up the glued to the floor stuff, then scraped it off with a putty knife. I am sure the floor loved this caring massage:
– Ah, a hole in the wall, – I thought. – How cute.
And continued my work.
While scrubbing the floor by chance I kicked the plastic pipe. It started to leak, weakly, like a sickly piglet that after a bout of a diarrhea didn’t have enough water for a hearty pee.
– What is it?!- I screamed in horror. Just a thought of a piglet water touching my future laminate floor made my hair stand up on all parts of my body. Laminate and water don’t go together at all. Too much humidity causes laminate to buckle.
– Oh, it is nothing, – the building’s super said. – It is just a water from the air-conditioner in the other space. You won’t have to worry about it in winter.
Then, very quickly, the super walked out of the space and disappeared in the vast hallway.
– I won’t stand for it, – I said to the only person who was willing to listen to me – my boyfriend. – Please, do something.
My boyfriend, a skillful carpenter, built a little trough about 19 feet 7 inches long and gently put the plastic pipe in it. We lined it with a sturdy plastic cover and were certain that any leaks will never reach my precious laminate. I stuffed the hole with a insulation material I found nearby.
– It will work out, – my boyfriend said. American optimism can be infectious, even ravaged by wars, natural disasters and communism Eastern Europeans can be susceptible to it.
The scientists have discovered that doing manual work makes people smarter. There is a connection between working with your hands and increased brain power, they said. Obviously, one doesn’t need great brain power to make money because manual work doesn’t bring much of it. But what it brings to me is peace. I have not felt such calm since 9/11. “It is going to be good,”- I thought. “I love this space”.
I forgot that that there are 4 basic weathers around here: sunny, cloudy, night and rain. I only saw what I wanted to see – the sun. Then, on the weekend of August 13-14th the rain of Biblical proportions hit New York.
On Monday I went to work on my new space and I saw why the walls under the windows had looked diseased. I saw a huge puddle in the middle of the space. My heart broke in half. There were no words to say or questions to ask. I turned around and went back to Manhattan to hide in my bed under layers of blankets. Whatever I was worried about was nothing compared to this:
I realized that the anticipated living without roommates will not happen. God sent me a new roommate – Rain.