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Hot spots…

September 17, 2010

One day,

when he was in a merry mood,

he created a mirror that had the power of making everything good or beautiful that was reflected in it,

shrink to almost nothing,

while everything that was worthless and bad was magnified and looked worse than ever…

The most lovely landscapes appeared like boiled spinach,

and people became hideous and looked as if they were standing on their heads with no bodies…

Their faces were so distorted that no one could recognize them,

and even one freckle appeared to spread all over the nose and mouth…

The demon thought this was very amusing…

When a good or pious thought passed through the mind of anyone,

it was misrepresented in the glass…

Then how the demon laughed at his cunning invention…

— in The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen…

When I was in my teens,

and early twenties,

things happened…

And it was assumed that if it happened,

you must have wanted it,

especially if you weren’t laying on your back,

or struggling…

This was before the advent of blaming a thong,

and expanding societal awareness that when it happens,

whether you wanted it or not,

your memory may be sketchy…

Particularly if you’ve been under the influence,

of whom,

or what,

you didn’t even know…

On the main floor,

of the large building,

where I attend flamenco class,

there is a dance hall…

It is currently filled with rows upon rows of shelving,

and boxes of lab glass…

But I’ve been in that big open space before,

for a party called Grass Skirt,

when I was still a teenager…

This was before raves,

ecstasy,

and worse…

But that time,

like any other,

had its own horror show…

Getting to go to Grass Skirt was considered a special privilege…

Not everyone got invited…

The week before the event,

you got to make your own skirt with the person who asked you,

to be his date…

It felt like being part of a tradition,

and craft…

On the evening of the big night,

you met at the fraternity house,

got on a school bus with blacked out windows,

drove to an unknown destination,

crawled through a tunnel made of cardboard,

and upon emergence,

onto a stage,

were greeted with half a coconut shell full of punch,

smoking with dry ice…

Once the picture fades to nothing,

the things you can’t remember,

including losing track of the date who wouldn’t hurt a flea,

get locked away,

until they’re ready to rise to the surface for letting go,

like a chocolate cyst…

A few summers ago I had a dream that I was climbing a wooden ladder,

up to a roof,

wearing lobster slippers…

It was a cumbersome,

awkward business,

but I refused to give up…

After great effort I found myself hanging off the peak,

of that cedar shingled roof,

triumphant…

The lobster slippers which covered my bubbly toes,

dangled from that great height,

until I kicked them off,

and they fell to the ground,

leaving my feet free for jumping…

Yesterday I got a call from my roofer,

Mr. Foreverman,

who runs a successful business,

without a cell phone…

He had some warnings which I share with you now…

Just in case you find yourself in a situation,

and haven’t got a clue how you got there…

High-efficiency furnaces,

often sold in combination with a humidifier,

require proper ventilation…

If moist air is being pumped into attic space,

or a vaulted ceiling packed with insulation,

and no soffit venting,

there’s a pretty good chance that the plywood deck,

sandwiched in between the roof structure,

and the roofing materials,

will rot…

Keeping a water buffalo,

or growing mushrooms,

in any house,

is only asking for trouble…

Troubles that may tick away on the inside,

but can’t be dealt with unless you start pulling off the shingles on the outside…

The plywood that was ripped out of my neighbour’s roof last week,

revealed a damp thick white bloom of the sort found on expensive soft cheese,

and most people’s tongues…

Not what you want in your house…

Air needs to circulate,

and we need to offer up our own experiences,

in order to move it…

Mr. Foreverman told me,

Things aren’t the way they were even twenty years ago…

Ultra violet rays can burn out a roof deck right through the shingles…

And it can happen fast…

You need to make sure that you’re removing what shouldn’t be there in the first place…

I have to say,

some of the rare characters I see in the trades,

are a million times clearer with their methods,

and their messages,

than any pedigreed professor,

or sales and marketing executive,

diddling hand-held devices…

Hallelujah for that…

When everything's a little clearer in the light of day...

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