State of the Union II
Things are looking up at Union—well, at least some days they are. The lighting guy, Josh, came over recently to talk about the fixtures he’s making for the place and the way they’re going to react when the fans and saws and hammers aren’t vibrating in the background. We went out back to the patio, where the sun cuts through the big swaying branches above us, and we talked about the design for the barbecue he is going to build. Everything seemed very optimistic. But then there are days when I walk in and three guys are looking at me with concern and frustration because the tenant who lives in the building has no hot water because her taps are screwed up, and we’ve got to take the hit. And then E.T., the hood guy, arrives like a storm of anxiety, all exasperated because the price of steel is going up, up, up and we need to buy, buy, buy. We fill another bin of rubble and dirt only to walk to the other side of it and see that the bin has a sign on it that reads “No rubble or dirt.”
On those days, all I can do is keep up with the losers. And I start pacing the joint. I get so stretched out, overloaded and overwhelmed. I walk to the bank and say hi to a girl I met once before, waiting at the bus stop; she thinks I just came out of one of those Portuguese drinking dens on Dundas and, because I’ve been pulling rubble and crap out of the crawl space all day, there’s just no point in trying to tell her any different. But this is all part of the game. One battle after another and, if I win more than I lose, there will be something amazing at the end.