May 29, 2012

The Day the Painters Came

Today two painters are stripping wallpaper from three rooms in our basement as part of a low budget remodel. Amazing what new carpet and a little color will do. Hermann and I bought paint at Benjamin Moore, selecting colors like Raspberry Truffle for the bathroom, and Dinner Party and Spice Gold for his office. (Benjamin Moore has really good coupons by the way.)
Our guest room will be a utilitarian boring light blue to match the existing vertical blinds, which were custom and too expensive to replace. I suspect our guest bathroom will resemble a whorehouse/saloon of the old west with satiny red walls new red glass shades on the lighting fixture.
The cat is whining that he can’t visit his normal morning sleeping areas and I have a big assignment due for a client, but the noise from the scraping of the probably 3-decade old wallpaper is annoying.
I can’t help but remember another day of painting.
When I was 23, I moved to my first real non-college apartment. The complex was called Spring Harbor, but it was still pretty awful and I called it “Sewer Harbor.” It was close to a water treatment plant and occasionally we got a whiff.
At 23 I slept in the Altogether, generally on my stomach in my second-story apartment, especially on the weekend when I came home from a night of partying with my friends. That Saturday morning I woke up way too early, because outside the bedroom window I heard “creak, creak, creak” and it was getting louder. When you are 23 and single and go out on Friday night with your friends, you don’t want to get up at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
I failed to draw the blinds the night before when I crashed into bed. I opened one eye and saw them. Two painters in white-painter clothes were directly outside my window. The “creak, creak, creak” was the sound of the scaffolding coming up the wall.
Just as I opened my eye, the two painter’s heads popped above the bottom of the window. Let me rephrase: their very wide-eyes popped up above the bottom of the window.
What to do?
As I had just crashed on top of the bed, I took my left arm and slowly pulled the bedspread over my entire body and kept going until I rolled onto the floor. Then I quickly wrapped myself in the cover and made like the Lone Ranger out the door. And slammed it behind me.
The painters arrived so early this morning that I was still in my pajamas. Just for the record, I put on a robe.  Originally published today on my Open Salon blog.