Amtrak Northeast Regional 170 departs Kingston Station at 11:43 am. This was my target. Up against a wall, I forced myself out of bed after a few hours of sleep and immediately went into robot work crew mode. The dehumidifiers (yes there are now two) needed to be emptied, furniture had to be put back into place, and both Diana and Kéa required a walk-through for imminent trouble shooting next week sans Sparky. Not that I’ve been a critical component to our staccato progress at 91 High Street.
In fact, I’ve been the anti-critical component. If not for Uncle Scotty and Dave The Floor Guy, we’d be dead in the water. Or maybe even dead. We’ve somehow managed not to kill each other throughout this process. It’s not that we haven’t gnawed beneath each other’s skin, it’s just the magnitude of utter destruction our house has been subjected to. With interminable horrid assignments from the morning shock of waking up through late evening exhaustion, no one has had any time to fight.
Yesterday brought a few key landmark accomplishments. In just nine days, Dave The Floor Guy wrapped up his three day refinish and install. This wasn’t really his fault. Diana and I had a punch list thirty pages long, and for some reason Dave developed a sympathy for our plight. Abandoned by Scotty and left to experiment with home repairs and renovations alone, we must have embodied the pathetic look of clueless home improvement refugees. This, coupled with the fact that Dave The Floor Guy had nothing better to do, literally saved our asses.
In merely six extra supplemental additional spare days, Dave The Floor Guy leveled our bare cabinets, was solely responsible for berating our countertop technicians into doing their job, carved space under a window to allow for a backsplash, and refinished our dining room table “because, ya know, I get bored and shit just waitin’ round for my poly ta dry. I’m a self stahtah. I gotta do shit, ya know? I can’t just sit around.” Dave The Floor Guy has a sixth sense. It’s as if he knew we’d be unremittingly screwed the second Scotty deserted our goat rope misadventure to flee and seek refuge at work in Alaska. Dave The Floor Guy stepped into the void.
We (and by we I mean Diana tearfully begging from the wrong end of a cell phone) were able to wrangle Bill The Plumber to stop in and perform what looked like open heart surgery under our beautiful new abeyant sink. There was a lot of noise. A lot. And some smoke. Dave The Floor Guy stopped doing, “you know, whatevah,” and took five to stand over Bill The Plumber to talk about Taska Ford Cobra Jets. This went on for a really really long time. I don’t have a bill from Bill, but I do have running water and a working sink. So whatevah it is, I’m gonna pay it.
It all came together. The floors are now finished. The countertops minus the backsplash are on the cabinets. The shrubbery is no longer growing into the dining room. Evidence of the kitchen fire has been removed. The deck and the railings are built…even legal! We now have a home that is arguably nicer than the one I’m returning to in AK. This is all great news, except for the fact that I had 7 minutes to enjoy it.
By the time I packed, stored our assortment of power tools, slipped my surfboard quiver back into the basement, and moved the last piece of furniture into place, it was time to go. We hit up the Ocean Mist for a last breakfast and sprinted up RI 110 to Kingston Station. I’m now in transit hell. Amtrak was wonderful. South Station, the iconic New England rail hub, is a fascinating mix of historic and contemporary passage. Boston Logan? Not so much.
In the words of Obe Wan Kenobe, “…you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…” Air travel sucks. I do it a lot. It’s not improving. I can tolerate the work travel during the winter, but summer is an entirely different animal. Crowds of inhumanity packed into government controlled corrals fighting for meaningless advantage in their pursuit of exchanging A for B. And now…I’m in the thick of it.