Today I am not a happy country-woman. I am hating everything. Everything feels sticky and gross and hot and broken and wrong and there are dead things all over the place and the wasps are planning my demise and the sun is way too bright and a freak frost zapped a bunch of my squash plants and I dropped my dinner on the dirty dirty ground my husband is plugging along like everything’s normal. Check this out:
This is what the sun FEELS like today. To me. Apparently the high was 81--which, while hot in its own right, is nowhere near what it's been this summer. I just snapped this picture without doing anything fancy. I KNEW the cosmic radiation was coming at me; I could feel it. The iPhone doesn't lie.
Today--past the rising tide of resentments against nature, past what I think is going on, I have FEAR. Fear is always about me worrying I’m going to lose something I have or that I’m not going to get what I want. I know that I have so much to be grateful for and today I just don’t care. Today, I am mad that I have relationships with people that rely on (love) me. Today, I am mad that I have responsibilities I have to show up for. Today, I am mad that I feel trapped in a fleshy fleshy body that gets hot and itchy and bugs land on it and I don’t want to be here in this physical incarnation. I feel profoundly tired. I just want to check out.
Currently, in Vernonia, it is pretty difficult to “check out”. In an earlier post I described myself as a comfort-seeker and that has not changed. However, my comfort level out here, in terms of fluffy pillows, electricity, a BATHROOM, easily accessible food, INDOORNESS in general, is really low. Since I dropped my food on the ground, I get to look forward to eating either a can of tamales (why do I even have a can of tamales? What is that?) or sardines. And, if you knew me, I am NOT going to eat the sardines. I can’t deal with “casual fish” like that. If I’m going to eat fish, it needs to be intentional, with planning and dishes and the ability to wash up afterwards. I take fish seriously, unlike my husband who bought a commercial-sized can of “Chub Mackerel” and who apparently intends to it at some point. I do not want to be around for that.
Three days ago I measured 18 slots in between the rafters of the loft—I am making “soffits”. I recently learned this word “soffit”. Apparently, it is a piece of wood that goes between the rafters and the floor where the angle of the ceiling meets the floor to keep animals from coming in from outside and crawling into bed with you. They’ve got a word for everything! I was SO careful about this measuring. In fact, I came up with a perfect math system for me, check it out:
This board of cedar is going to be 22.25" plus one eighth of an inch and it goes in slot number twelve. By keeping to the quarter units and than adding or subtracting the eighths on either side, I can keep track of the numbers better. Trust me--this is how my brain works. If you want to hear about how babies conceived by parents who frequently use heroin have difficulty with both math and rhythm (the offspring, not the junkie parents)--I can speak to that subject. But not now.
So, I measured everything carefully. Put all the wood in the truck. Drove the wood up to the barn. Got out my husbands miter-saw. Carefully cut each piece. Drove them back in the truck. Took them up to the loft. None of them fit, except one. Why? Because the rafters are not consistently parallel, from apex to eave. And the five inches I had to shove the soffit into was enough to render my measurements moot.
But this happens a lot. I am kind of used to it. So, the next Vernonia day, I put all the wood back in the truck, drove it back to the barn, got out the saw, shaved off what I calculated to be the appropriate amount, and, since my husband needed the truck, I wheeled the wood back to the cabin in a wheelbarrow in the for-some-reason-hotter-than-usual-sun:
They still didn’t fit! It was insane. I wanted to cry because that’s how I roll. I changed plans, and went at it from a different angle—soffiting from the OUTSIDE instead of inside. This worked on roughly a third of them, but basically my plan is crap. There was all this wonkiness I didn’t see the first couple times around and I am frustrated with myself for not knowing how to install soffits into a messed up cabin properly!
Then came the intense sensitivity to the heat and the fleshiness and the food on the ground and I threw my hammer so hard and so far I had to use two hands to pull it out of the ground.
I know this is normal stuff—in fact this isn’t the first time I’ve experienced it with the cabin, but for some reason today I can’t stop swearing and I keep bumping into things and I just want to go home but I don’t want to go home because my mother and my son will be there and they are gong to want things from me.
Tomorrow, I am going to Harbor Freight and I am buying a battery-powered circular saw and I don’t care if the batteries wear out before the tool does, I saw one for $30 and it’s worth it to deal with the rest of the wood I’m going to have to cut to get the cabin into usable shape. I don’t care about the “I-cut-all-this-wood-by-hand” bragging rights anymore. It’s getting stupid.
I’ve never been good at precision—and I’m feeling sorry for myself right now. Sure, it’s a waste of time but it is all I can seem to do at the moment.
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Gillian Gontard wants a lot of things--she's trying to change that..
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