Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Hole in my Ceiling Where Drills Escape

"Groovy pad," said the construction worker.

I thought the loud roaring above me was merely the construction that has been going on upstairs for the past several days. It turned out it was a drill coming through my ceiling.

The landlady and construction workers paraded down to our apartment door. They suspected that they had drilled a hole through the ceiling. I led the crew inside. We meandered around the coffee table and the bookcase to the bed, which had a little pile of paint chips and plaster.

“See that?” said the handyman, pointing upwards. “That’s a drill coming through your ceiling.”

The landlady jokingly said that she hoped we wouldn’t notice, but we probably would have noticed a threatening, protruding spiral of silvery metal gleaming above our heads as we slept.

They decided that the best thing to do would be to fix it right away, in case dust and liquids leaked out of the hole as we slept below. I agreed. Before I knew it, the crew was stripping away the comforter and pillows, carrying my mattress into the kitchen, and pushing the bedframe against the wall. They draped a plastic sheet over the bookcase and taped it into place.

“Groovy pad,” said one worker, looking from the psychedelic rug to my tie-dye rainbow leggings. I was walking around dressed comfortably because I had anticipated a long day of kitten cuddling and quietly copywriting. It was not meant to be.

Olive, our kitten, encroached upon the scene curiously as people came in and out to survey the damage. Then the drilling began and she dove behind the mattress. This happened several times. Once the drilling stopped for good, she ventured quietly into the construction zone and pattered through the plaster dust. A worker found a pile of her dust-coated toys that were under the bed and tried to throw them to her.

I scooped my brave little kitten up from behind the construction worker’s back and eventually barricaded us in the kitchen with a drawer unit and a tiny ottoman. Olive is not thrilled about our current living arrangements. As far as she is concerned, all of the things worth playing with are part of the construction zone. When she gets bored with her feather toy she tentatively bites my foot an act of revenge.

Not so long before the drill broke through the ceiling I was sleeping off a terrible headache and Olive kneaded my shirt to wake me up. If Olive hadn’t roused me with her cuteness, I might have awoken to a silver drill bit spirally relentlessly above my head, spitting a snow of plaster and paint chips. PTSD and nightmares reminiscent of the better Saw films would have likely followed.

The construction worker that is here now says that he will be another twenty minutes, and then the rest of the crew will return to patch the hole. The patching process will continue for another forty-five minutes. Perhaps I should follow Olive’s example and take a nap on a kitchen chair. It’s going to be a long afternoon.

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