Wednesday, October 06, 2004

House drudgery

Last night the homeowner on In a Fix got his "It's All My Fault" t-shirt caught in a belt sander. Luckily, he managed to turn it off before it abraded him to death.

Almost as dangerous, perhaps, is the slow grinding-down of the soul that's caused by a major renovation project. The s.o. hit his low early, while he was rewiring the house. All those hours in grimy, infested crawl spaces pushed him almost to the brink, and understandably so. Now, as we finish the cosmetic portions of the remodel (the part I'm in charge of), it's me against the cosmic emery board.

Shows like In a Fix are both inspirational and agonizing. Yes: It's doable. But no: I will not be able to finish this renovation in three days the way they do. Even three months is pushing it, and even then we can't afford to refinish the floors. Nani! James! Sparky! Come help me, for god's sake! What do you mean you don't film your show in rural Georgia?

Sometimes it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And the house seems to deteriorate almost as fast as we can spruce it up. I just finished re-adhering the wallpaper that was peeled off by Hurricane Ivan. It shrank when it got wet, and now the edges don't quite meet. I'm looking for a ruby-colored crayon or marker or something to disguise the tiny gap. Shit! I could be spending this time sanding or painting.

I would give almost anything to be done with this project. But the reality is that after I've spent a long day writing and editing, I'll squeeze in a pitiful hour or two of painting that will be marred by my inability to avoid splattering paint in places where it's not supposed to go. There will be cursing and despair. I'm treading water when I should be swimming a 100-meter dash.