Saturday, May 31, 2008


The room is far from completion, in fact, the entire construction of the house is long past the estimated time once given by the construction company. The exterior gives the image of completion, horizontal wood panels, painted a cheery robin’s egg blue cloak the exterior walls. From an outsider’s eye, the 2 story house blends in perfectly in this suburban neighborhood; like the dreams of schoolgirls and sentimental architects, this is a house designed to raise a family in. A window with blue shutters adorns the second story, its steepled roof completes the picture. Gardeners have already planted grass and fruit trees in the front yard. The white picket fence will soon be built. But inside, there is no family eating pancakes. The basic structure of the home is laid out, the rooms are divided and the stairs leading to the second story is built, but everywhere wood beams are exposed, awaiting the covering of sheet rock. The floors are covered in plywood and the air is heavy with the smell of sawdust and sweat. There are crumpled newspapers on the ground and remnants of a fast food lunch.
A carpenter in starchy white denim stands in the center of what will be the dining room. The last golden light of a warm afternoon streaks in through the open window-holes, bathing him in a renaissance glow. His forearms are large and tan and covered in sun bleached hair. His thick and sturdy shoulders seem even more capable in the dingy orange t-shirt he wears. In the heat of a fading summer afternoon, dark wet spots adorn his armpits. Most of his shoulder length hair is held back in a rubber band, although some stray curly black hairs, not quite long enough to conform with the others have escaped and stick to his sweaty face. The overalls are worn and brown around the cuffs and small spots of mutli-colored paint make sporadic appearances all over, although the largest concentration of paint dwells on the material that covers his sculpted thick thighs. His habit of constant hand wiping has created a rainbow pool on each leg, not a speck of the white denim can be seen. His right foot, sheathed in a size 12 tan leather boot stands firmly on the ground which is littered with the pencil markings and doodles of construction workers. His left foot is on the lowest rung of an aluminum ladder, his weight providing the extra stability and balance. His arms grip either side of the ladder edges, his forearm muscles bulge with his effort, steadying his partner who stands on the topmost rung.

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