Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chapter 1, Part 5: The Workshop

A Wednesday afternoon, July 1991

Please, please, please open. Shit. It's jammed.

I really don't want to go back in there. It's bad enough when it is just mom, dad, and pepere and memere, but my uncle and cousins are there too. I'm too small, too weak, and too damn useless to get this goddamn door to open.

Of course, my grandfather with the weak heart gets it open first try. Nice.

-Merci, pepere.

I love stepping into this workshop. There are all sorts of smells and identify, along with a few that I recognize. The sweet smell of oil, some sawdust maybe. Tools all over the walls. I don't know what half of them are for, and I suspect that many of them aren't used anymore, for anything.

The welding mask, a bucket full of shards of rusty steel, and a woodstove. I imagine fire and sweat and effort and productivity. Most of it hasn't been used in a long time. Passive now, like Pepere.

I push out the greasy lawnmower, and then I bring out the gas can and the rake.

Please let this thing start. I know what pulling on a pull-start is supposed to look like. I am painfully aware that when I do it, I'm basically miming the thing in slow motion. Luckily, I usually get it by the third pull.

Not so luckily, I get it on the sixth pull this time. Pepere stepped onto to the porch after try number 4, ready to help. That would defeat the purpose of my coming out here and cutting his grass, and horrify me to. Just the thought probably gave me the adrenaline I needed to get it started.

It's hot and I'm getting tired fast. I can feel my shoulders burn. The grass is too long, and the yard is too big. Stopping isn't an option. It just seems like forever. At least I know there is a freezing cold ginger ale waiting for me when I'm done. And I can go back to sleeping in and farting around.

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