Restoring the building

He never did show up to meet me, and I was stuck there, in the snow, with all of the complications that he had so casually abandoned. In a way, I felt that this was an inevitable eventuality, that I was relegated here to take care of all his dirty laundry throughout life. And now he dumped it on me, in the form of the piece of property we had just bought. Together, or so I had carelessly thought. I guess that I was then meant to care for it in some capacity, because what else is a man really supposed to do with an abandoned building they just bought? Just when I felt myself becoming totally overwhelmed with the sheer volume of things that needed to get tended to in order for this building to be restored, I heard it. That glorious sound, followed by that supremely glorious feeling. The sound tumbling in the air duct above, scattered through veins on the apartment ceiling, and this was  followed shortly by sizzling air surging from each duct. In that moment, I had the definite and reassuring thought: I can actually do this. I must have spent the majority of my time that year tending to that site, alone knocking down walls and erecting new rooms out of wood and plaster. I gutted the old, unnecessary elements. I removed ancient scaffolding that hadn’t been used since the eighties, tore up ancient rotted flooring that may once have been wood. I then laid down new hardwood floors. I put up and reinsulated each wall, redid each and every window, and I made sure of the structure’s integrity. All of this was completed by myself simply because of the tumbling in the air duct above. The heating was always reassuring me and comforting me whenever I needed it the most, and it always seemed intent on providing me with a warm swathe of air in which to complete my job. With the oil furnace rumbling, I put the last piece in its rightful site. He never showed up.

residential HVAC