Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Our friend Millicent came back from a trip once and opened up her internet browser and went to this page and stopped and counted all the posts.

"My," she drawled, "he sure blogs a lot."

Well, yes.

I like to write. And blogging gives me a reason to think, and write, and hopefully gives others a moment to read, and think as well.

But when I'm not writing I'm often busy working, or raising a Peeper, or loving and working and playing with my Bride, my Dark Lady of the Sonnets, who is both angel and devil, half woman and half spirit and all that I could ask for in a lover, a helpmeet and a partner.

And painter. Oh, yes.
All this summer I've been talking about the work we've been doing. And doing. And still doing - it never seems to end. But finally, it did, at least in the back hallway. Observe my inamorata painting over the hideous peach color we found when we moved in. And below her, the vile particleboard "floor" used to repair the fire damage by our cheap and nasty predecessors. She and I and the Peep and his beloved daycare teacher Lilo worked like mad beavers to finish the hallway. And so.

The IKEA wood laminate floor is down. The baseboard and chair-rail in place and everything painted. The masking tape is gone, and the lintels back down.
The straight-grain old fir flooring in the hall was originally laid down in 1922 and coated with some odd, animal-based stain - we took it up in the Peep's room and it came up with the paint stripper as an awful, blood-red jelly that clung to everything and stained like mortal sin. Some time later, probably in the 40's or 50's some rough beast slopped down mastic and put down linoleum (I suspect) which was in turn replaced with cheap and nasty carpet in the 1980's. Now the carpet, too, has gone in turn, the underlayment and laminate is in place and the old fir is covered again, to spend another several decades in the dark.
Now it's finally done. When we want to imagine the house as it will eventually be we go into the hallway after a busy boy has gone to bed and breath in the new-paint scent and the tidy doneness. There is a hallway there, and an end to work.
Too uncomfortable to sleep,
and too tired not to,
wandering in a half-sleep all night
through the small apartment,
the good leg dragging the bad
behind it like a child
to punishment, the back
stooped, and the head cocked
slightly like a bird's so he can see
with the eye that isn't blind yet
just where the hell he's going
if he isn't one of Plato's
souls that walk out to the rim
of heaven, consider him,
at least, the fleshed out
idea, the bodily perfection
of everything they would
have had to overcome
to get there; consider him
the why me, arthritic subtext
of their aspiration, what it is,
as they gaze upon the fixed,
impersonal shining of
the good, the just, the beautiful,
that wanders through the small
apartment all night long

from bedroom to hall, from hall
to kitchen, kitchen to bathroom,
the whole time thinking
only of sleep, and how
much longer can he walk
like this, and what will he do
with himself, at night, when he can't.
Alan Shapiro


Millicent said...

Nice hallway!! Loving the two-tone thing. Great colors. Question though, can we slide down the floor in our socks?

And, yes, you blog a lot. I'm just jealous because I'm a shitty blogger.

walternatives said...

I'm Impressed - you and Mojo do nice work, Chief. What's next?