Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

#339: THE DISTRACTION OF ROOFING HAS LEFT ME WITH LITTLE ELSE TO FOIST UPON YOU BUT THE STUFF FLOATING AROUND MY DESKTOP

There are these really big guys on the roof of my building pounding and thudding and kachunking, and they have been at it since approximately 7:15 this morning. It is now 4:30 pm, so I think they should be slowing down any time now.

It has been quite distracting. I was all set to be productive today, seeing as I took today off work and have some projects on the go. I had a short story I wanted to add to, a couple of poems that needed some work, I was going to see if I could get my camera fixed up, and I had a painting that I wanted to start work on. Looking back on that list, I think I woke up feeling a little more driven than I felt after I actually got out of bed and had to deal with the thumping floor and jangling dishes and the somewhat alarming ricocheting of little rocks off the bathroom window.

This building is swiftly approaching its centennary, so I am all for it getting a new roof, but the noise and reverberations seem a bit much. There is a whole floor above me, and I cannot imagine how it felt to wake up to that racket a mere twelve feet above your head. If my dishes were rattling down here, I can only imagine what their plaster walls look like this afternoon.

But really, less about my roof and more about something else less about my roof. My point is this: I had much to write about a particular topic, but with the level of distraction going on here today, I pared down my chosen activities and decided to work on the poems, foregoing the rest. The short story required too much lengthy concentration, and the roofing fumes were too much competition for the Tremclad rust paint that I like to paint with. So, how about some photographs I haven't shown you yet?

The following photograph is Abigail. She's pretty.

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The Fiery One hates pictures of himself, and to be honest, he has good reason to. He often comes out looking decidedly unlike himself in them. In this one, though, he looks very much like himself when he is deliriously happy and unshaven.

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The next photograph is not the best I have taken, but I like it for sentimental reasons. There's just something about that tree. (I took both this one and the last one at Carkus Masey's solstice gathering in June).

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And then, of course, there is this poem, which I wrote while taking a very long bath early this afternoon. I have to say that it was much more difficult writing in the bathtub than I ever thought. There was so much moisture from dripping and steam and thoughtless bending of paper past the waterline. Luckily, I had the forethought to use a pen with waterproof ink.

That House

Do you remember that house,

the one with all the floors sliding east (the famous-to-me direction of your auspicious birth)?
It was almost one hundred years old,
and I think someone called it grandfathered, as though it could turn over new leaves.
It had a breakfast nook we never used
because the kitchen was built in the time of cold cupboards and wood-burning stoves, and the refrigerator broke out pregnantly from the wall if we didn't back it into the nook.
There was this cheap linoleum in the bathroom
that I refused to get rid of even though it peeled up in broad strokes around the radiator, because it was six-by-six-inch black and white checkers, and I had thought about that kind of floor since I was a little kid because I liked the symmetry the squares imposed.
The cracks in the walls
were going to be incorporated into pictures instead of re-plastered over, because it seemed to me that it was the plaster that had the problem, and painting meant that new cracks could mean new branches and not the brokenness of new cracks.
We decided we couldn't stay if we had a family,
so we moved to make room, and then that baby never came.
When we packed everything up
and wiped the last of our fingerprints off the doorframe, I could still see in my mind the things I would do there if we stayed, but that baby was not in my mind any more than a distant relative that we never met whose Christmas letter had been foisted upon us by my mother.
So, I wasn't very sad about that baby,
but I always missed that house, and I wonder if that baby had come if I would sometimes still have wished that we'd kept that house instead.

That House