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Home berth…

September 9, 2010

In 1577,

between June 2 and November 29,

Teresa wrote The Interior Castle,

known in Spanish as Las Moradas (The Mansions)…

Anyone seeking proof,

that she had by this time,

attained a perfect balance,

between the inner and outer,

can find it here,

for she wrote this,

the most profound of her works,

and one of the great classics of mystical life,

in a period of extreme activity and stress…

— in Teresa of Avila, An Extraordinary Life by Shirley du Boulay

I learned a lot about roofing this week…

But my biggest lesson was to make sure that I document everything,

when I’ve put myself forward,

to be responsible,

for supervising a job…

So for the last few days I was all over that scaffolding,

with my camera,

watching every single step as it unfolded,

and was put back together again…

My vocabulary expanded exponentially,

and I held people accountable for their actions…

A word for the wise…

If a guy named Rick shows up in front of your house,

in a truck with Dave’s name on the side of it,

and then proceeds to say that a roof needs to be replaced ASAP,

because the rains are coming,

and puts his hands together in prayer,

and tells you,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news,

and he’s thought it over and he’s going to give you a good deal,

if this gets done in the next 24 hours,

all just himself and his rope,

there’s a rat’s ass on your sidewalk…

When I select a roofer I want to know where he lives,

if he owns his own house,

how long he’s been married to the same woman,

the quality of relationship he has with his children,

how long he’s been in the business,

and how he gets his business…

If the answers line up,

we can proceed from there…

Sub-contracts are a red flag,

unless they’re under eagle eye supervision…

My roofer calls himself a forever kind of man…

He says,

My grandfather always told me,

I don’t care what you do,

just make sure you do it well,

and people will be banging on your door…

I started roofing in my twenties,

back in Saskatchewan,

and I’ve never stopped…

I’ve been a Canadian bowling champion five times,

and I’ll bowl until I die…

My thirty year old daughter has moved back home,

and I’m still looking after her…

I’ve been married to the same woman my whole life,

she’s a great gal…

And NOTHING is EVER going to get between me and my Kokanee’s…

I laughed,

and then wondered what happened to his eyebrows,

and eye lashes…

He told me that he lost all of his hair in his forties…

ALL of it,

spontaneously,

without medical explanation…

Of course being me I needed to inquire into the specifics…

I asked him,

as we leaned on the railing of my front porch,

Nose hair???

None…

Ears???

Nope…

Armpits???

Nothing…

Privates???

Clean as a whistle…

He told me,

I used to be 160 pounds and shave twice a day…

Now I’m 220 and my skin is baby soft…

Not even one whisker…

Feel it…

He offered up a cheek…

I thought to myself,

is this an Irish Spring commercial,

or real life,

and couldn’t resist raising up the back of my hand…

I told him that people pay big money for balls n’all…

I suggested that maybe being a roofer,

and all smooth as a baby’s bottom,

he might want to start up an 80’s cover band,

or change industries…

He chuckled from his big beer belly,

and said,

Well,

on my next birthday I’ll be 69,

which is my favorite number…

And I can’t hear a thing,

except for when my wife says yes,

every six months or so…

But I’m not interested in any other line of work…

I always tell my doctor,

Your job is to keep me alive,

and my job is to keep you dry…

When Foreverman and I shook hands to say goodbye,

it felt bittersweet…

Given the story of our meeting,

which is an watertight roof,

with no signs of rot,

the hope was that we’d never have to see each other again…

As his truck pulled away,

I walked into my house,

and heard the voice of an accordion,

stretching from a balcony across the neighbour’s back yard…

When that French music catches me,

I fall down,

with all filters off…

I need rain...



 

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