Monday, August 20, 2007

A Long Fall

It's 85 degrees in my house right now, and that's downstairs. I'm upstairs, of course, and it must be over 90. I just ditched all my clothes on the office floor and I'm sitting here in my underwear and I just went in to say goodnight to the significant other and she said I "was radiating heat", which is something I've heard out of her before. It's usually the last thing she says before she pushes me away and the day ends. You'd think the cold shoulder would bring some welcome relief to this suburban inferno. Actually, right now I feel like I'm radiating heat! It's hot! It's August! I was finishing last night's wine!

Oh. Lord knows how hot it was today. I've been sucking down liquid by the gallon and half the energy my body spends out there is in the sweating. I come home exhausted from it, and yet tomorrow I go back to build one more patio cover at the Fallbrook Compound. This cover's only about 10'x10' so, ordinarily, it'd go up pretty quick, but it also happens to be 10' up, which means that it will be twenty feet to the ceiling. I'm also building it on a deck that is about 10' square, with a railing, surrounded by pine trees, on a slope, and covered in dog crap. Yes, it's true: this cover is for the dogs.

I'm not really sure how I'm going to do it, actually. I don't have a ladder big enough, but there's no place to put one anyway. I've never really built a patio cover from the top down because I don't believe the aluminum would support my weight, so it'll be an interesting one. Let's hope I'm not laying on my back tomorrow afternoon in the August heat, impaled on my drill/driver, sunburned, on a pile canine excrement, and waiting for someone to find me because I can't move my extremities. Incidentally, the disability insurance guy called today wondering what the hold-up was. (Uhmm, it's the price, man.)

But that's the business. It's summer and it's hot and the sun beats down in Southern California and everyone wants a nice aluminum shade structure and in the interest of raising a family and having a nice home to live in, I will oblige. I'm in the shade business, so I work in the sun. It's funny to think that I put myself through college by doing construction work, only to find that that would end up being my career. Well, it's a good thing I went to college, otherwise I wouldn't have this reliable career to fall back on! Ah, wha?

It is the busy season for us. I always did prefer the fall, with it's warm Santa Ana winds blowing through in the evening and the brisk morning's reminder of the coming winter. I spent my twenties in a general melancholy and I always waxed that the fall was just Mother Nature's warning that things were going to get worse, and of course they always were, so we should be grateful to even be warned. When winter comes, you get blindsided by the holidays and the families and the cost of Christmas trees and you wonder if work is ever going to pick up and you thank God you didn't blow twenty-five hundred bucks on air conditioning last summer because it's frickin' freezing in here.

Now, in my middle age, I prefer the fall for different reasons. The anticipation of Christmas is often better than Christmas itself, and the only two significant holidays in the fall are dedicated to eating and dressing funny -and you can't beat that. And I just appreciate the cool weather, the leaves changing color, the humdrum cliche of it all. That, and the fact that work tends to slow down some, so Hawkins Construction takes a real vacation. Last year, Washington D.C. This year, Hawaii! Yes, I'll take a long Southern California fall any day.

Let's just hope it's not tomorrow.