I remember one time I bought a house.
It was a repo. The bank took it when the guy who lived there before lost his job and got divorced. Sad stuff. And it was a sad house.
I had two weeks to turn it unsad before moving in. And I had no help.
So I set to work pulling all of the kitchen cabinets out. That’s fun stuff. Breaking things, I mean.
Then I took all the drywall down because of the mold. The kitchen was just studs. And I re-drywalled the kitchen (not a fun job alone) and listened to these guys do a podcast called You Look Nice Today until three in the morning. They were funny, and talking about fingerless gloves.
The next day I pulled out all of the carpet. The whole place smelled like dog and urine. The dogs clearly had the run of the place toward the end. In the back room, the one that was to be my daughter’s, it was the worst. The carpet looked like a kennel died on it.
So I pulled it all out. And underneath it, the concrete slab was covered in sand. I could not imagine why the hell there was sand under the carpet.
It was crystalized urine.
So I bleached the entire concrete slab under the entire house. Three times. Then I painted the whole slab with industrial-strength primer. Four coats of it.
Then I put hardwood floors in the whole place, cutting back all of the door casings and reinstalling all of the baseboards.
Then I put new kitchen cabinets up. Built them all and squared them myself.
Then I demolished the rotted half-pipe in the back yard and tore out all the weeds.
And I pulled it off. In two weeks.
Then I got divorced myself, and now someone else lives there.
Which is fine. That house had a weird energy. Something about the narrowness of the hall and the positions of the windows just made it a nervous place.
Something about the narrowness of my life did the same.
Those guys from the podcast are my friends now. Which I still can’t get my head around.
My 37th birthday is on Friday. Birthdays get you thinking. And I’m thinking god, I have lived so damned many lives already.
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