Useless Men

I’ve been keeping myself busy by doing things. Things that I had put to the side. Things that once they are done lead to a much happier me, but they take so much time and effort.

My first project was to rehab an old piece of furniture for the kitchen. It needed to be sanded, a hardware update and a paint job. I did most of it myself, but living in a small NYC apartment I don’t have the range of tools I did when I owned my house so I needed to borrow a drill. L brought a drill after I asked him for one a few months back. I think he only did it because I was shocked that a home owner did have one. I was right since when he came over it was never taken out of the box or charged. this makes L a partially useless man. His ability to hold things as I did the work came in hand, but that’s where his skill ended.

Yesterday I set to painting my entry way. My apartment was a gut renovation, but whoever painted it really sucked and the paint they used was cheap. If you tried to wash it all you got were more stains. The entry way is like a mud room, so with a couple of years of wet umbrellas and other outdoor things hanging, it looked dirty, plus the sheet rocked started to show cracks. That drove me nuts.

Painting to me is a form of meditation. I have a really hard time stopping once I get started. I had to set very strong boundaries before hand in order to not paint through the night. The last time I painted, I did my whole apartment over the period of a long holiday weekend and my mother had to carry me to the bath. I didn’t sleep for three days. This time I had to prove to myself I was much healthier mentally and would not repeat that mistake. A large part of this was the timing. I could have started this Friday, but that would have left me too many days before returning to work.

As I was up on the buildings crappy ladder I recalled painting my old dining room in the house. It took forever and had so many small cuts that I did with an artists brush. The ladder was a “borrow” from my ex father in law. Useless man number one. It was pristine. Later pricing it, a five hundred dollar painters ladder. This man had never painted a day in his life, but had a collection of high grade supplies. When I moved the only thing I took from the garage was that ladder. It was the first thing in my new apartment.

It also made me recall a conversation with my ex as I was busting my ass and he was sitting having his morning coffee. I told him……you do realize it’s not just anyone that can paint you a pretty picture and also paint your house. He had no clue what I was talking about. He liked to think he was handy, but everytime he fixed something it usually required professional help to complete, or resulted in me waking up at 4 am and repairing the damage as he slept. He once power washed the house and removed all of the trim paint. I laughed at this memory because I was looking at the paintings I did in the kitchen as I was doing the damaged trim repairs. I hadn’t meant it literally back then, but……useless man number 2.

I think Sir is the only person I know more detail obsessed than me. My big problem has always been that I can’t let the paint dry. He’s helping with that.

Today my mother will bring me the ladder, no longer new, now over a decade old and used many times. I’ll laugh when I see it and resist the urge to get immediately on it and finish the trim work.

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