Skip to main content

On the chessboard

So after a good week of vacation, where I sorted many things and put away some things IN THE ATTIC...

You will remember that they were working on my roof while I was on vacation. Now, I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but the we have an attic space accessible by a low door. It's not finished, but there are pieces of vinyl on the floor and two lightbulbs and the previous tenants had fastened a bar, about 4 1/2 feet off of the ground, some 10 feet in length and I presume they hung clothes there. So, since closets in old house pretty much suck, I have hung the bulk of my clothes on this bar and use the attic as a walk in closet. The first month or so I covered them with sheets, but as nothing seemed to ever be on the sheets, I had stopped bothering.

Monday morning, first day back going back to work, I go in, get an outfit, leave.

Tuesday morning, step into attic, feel something sort of crunching beneath my bare feet--strange. Flip on the light. Wonder why it's so dark. Wonder why all my clothes look so DARK.

Yes, all my clothes were covered in 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch of very fine, black ash. I flick one garment to reveal a white sleeve--well, at least it comes off.

It was one of those moments when the mind goes, to quote Captain Malcolm Reynolds, "Hunh." Not as in a question, but as in a sort of declaratory way. As in, CAN'T THINK ABOUT THIS NOW way.

So I turned out the light, walked down the hall to the bathroom and wiped off my feet. Took a handtowel and wiped up my black footprints, and set about finding something else to wear since all of my work clothes were inaccessible.

I ended up wearing gym clothes and my husband's shirts for the rest of the week.

Well, the good news is that none of my clothes were ruined as far as I can tell so far. My landlady really outdid herself (and I can't imagine my old landlord doing anything like this). First the roofers (who apologized profusely--saying they thought all of the roofs were finished) went in with a leaf blower and blew all of the dust into the back of the room. Then my landlady spent some 6 hours total with a shop vac. Did I mention that there is NO ventilation in this room? That it was a very hot week? That the temperature in the attic had to have been over 100 degrees at all times?

On Saturday my husband and I developed a routine. He would stand with a laundry basket. I would take the clothes off of their hanger, drop the hanger into a box to be washed in the tub, shake the clothes lightly onto a sheet (we threw away that sheet) and put them in the laundry basket. When the laundry basket was full we would walk down a flight of stairs, out onto the little porch where we would vigorously shake every piece again and then I would sort them into trash bags--between dry clean only, washable but delicate and laundromat.

Sunday we took six trash bags to the laundry and spent 50 dollars, (though less time than I had imagined). Then we brought them home and hung them up.

In there too my husband scrubbed the bar, vacuumed again, and wiped the floor. I did loads of laundry in our washing machine (two flights down).

All in all, not the way I wanted to spend my weekend. The dry cleaning is still lying over the stair railing because I can't bring myself to hang it in the attic, and my clothes are all out of order--I was fairly meticulous about woven shirts together, blouses together, pants together... and tomorrow is supposed to be very hot and sticky.

Ah, was not a tragedy. It was an annoyance, a problem, a difficulty, yes, but not a tragedy. I suspect that we will be fighting that soot for a long time to come. When we open the Christmas decorations, for instance, or need the wrapping paper, but each morning there is nothing on the sheets I lay across my clothes each night, so we move forward.

And to think, if I had been lazy and NOT hung everything up at the end of vacation, or moved those shoes into the attic...well, no good deed goes unpunished. So two weeks later I find myself precisely where I was on the last day of vacation--with an awful lot of running in between.


musing said…
Oh, my. So glad the clothes weren't ruined!

"No good deed goes unpunished."

Very, very true.

Popular posts from this blog

Adapting a book--The Prestige

I was completely blown away by the movie of The Prestige, and I thought then about reading the novel, but it seemed too soon. So I carried the author's name around with me for over a year (Christopher Priest) and then, finally remembered to buy it through an odd sequence of events. We watched The Painted Veil based on the novel by Maugham starring Edward Norton, and while I decided I didn't want to read The Painted Veil because of it's differences from the film (which was more romantic and tragic) it reminded me that I had wanted to read Fight Club (the movie version of which starred Edward Norton) and that reminded me that I had wanted to read The Prestige (which did not star Edward Norton, but was up against The Illusionist which did). it's all Edward Norton's fault.

The Prestige is a very good novel, and yet, the movie differs from it considerably. And I am still trying to figure out what exactly that means. The central premise is the same, AND HER…

The end of Cloud Atlas

Feel I must write this--promised it to myself, can I finish before midnight (when I said I would go to bed at 11)?

Where was I?

Oh, yes, section 5, where it gets interesting--because it's the future, at least 25 years, hopefully more. I say hopefully, because I don't want to be living in this future. The section is called "An Orison of Sonmi-451." An Orison (I had to look it up, proving I don't remember my Shakespeare) is a prayer, but in this future world where language has taken as many turns as in Orwell's 1984, it is more a confession or final statement. Sonmi-451 is a clone (as the name might suggest). The section is not entirely original. It owes much to Brave New World and Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (made into the film Bladerunner). I find it interesting that 40 or so years ago--when Dick wrote his book he believed that future slaves would be Androids, replicants. Now we are much more likely to presume they will be clones,…

Driving in Boston

Inching along in a log jam of traffic yesterday on the Mass Pike I watched an Audi a few cars in front of me weave in and out of traffic determined to find the lane that was "moving" and yet for the whole half an hour that we sat there he ended up still only a few cars ahead of me. Sure there were times his lane pulled ahead, but then mine would catch up and he would switch back. The only thing he accomplished was to make the line that much slower. There was a great article that a friend sent me years ago on the physics of traffic and it has been determined that weaving in and out of tight traffic will really gain you nothing and in fact cause the very blockages that you believe you are defying. (Sidenote--an unfortunately side effect of so much of interest on the internet is that it is impossible to store all of the articles that interest you over the years in the vague belief that you will someday want to reference them to others) The article also pointed out that if all d…