Five years ago we hired our neighbor to renovate our bathroom — redo the shower, tile the bathtub. It took longer than it should when you try to get a good deal and at the end of it, he said you’ll just need to caulk the bathtub.
Roughly four years passed with the tub uncaulked. I had a caulk gun and got inspired to use it once, but couldn’t get the damn caulk to come out, and so the gun sat there in our closet another year or so, until yesterday.
I had some fresh caulk but couldn’t get the old tube out. I had to break down and do a fucking Internet search because try as I might, it wouldn’t come out of the gun. I even went outside in the grass, had the urge to slap it against the ground but resisted, then realized the tube had caulked itself to the gun and collapsed in on itself.
And after letting the caulk sit that long I learned you just need to break the seal in the top of the tube, which I did with a pair of poultry shears.
The bathtub in the kids’ bathroom is pulling away from the linoleum, inviting all kinds of problems like rot and mold, so I sealed it, did all three bathrooms in about 20 minutes. And since I’m terribly efficient with all my tasks, I took a break.
Dawn and I got into a spat over a box of binders I threatened to throw out if she wouldn’t go through them. So I went through them myself and found some of the shit in there is actually mine: a drawing I made while temping for Air Products and Chemicals, the back of the woman I supported, her bad posture slouched in front of the computer monitor, which was terribly large in the 90s, so large it could swallow you.
When I finished the cigar I threw it on the driveway then thought about fishing it out of the compost later, regretted not saving it. As if cigar smoking isn’t loathsome enough, it makes me spit, makes me drool like a dog when I’m lighting it, so it’s best to do it alone. My body’s like all the older guy bodies that disgusted me when I was young, when I wondered how a guy could let himself go like that, growing boobs, going soft. But I also got the attitude now I don’t care.
I got the caulk everywhere and no matter how hard you try, you can never get it right, even if you use a towel to dab it up and your finger to smear it down the crack, it still forms a tiny lip on either side.
I cut my own hair which is never good, and the bottoms of my feet turned black like they did when we lived at the beach — like the bottoms of our feet weren’t even a part of us, they were rentals.
And my street-fighting Yoga teacher Charlie was right when he said I’d blow the cartilage out of my knees doing virasana like that, you should always use a block.
Everyone’s in an uproar over session beers now: first, beers needed more flavor, then more fresh, more local — now they need all the flavor of a big beer but with half the alcohol, like we can’t be bothered getting drunk drinking beer.
We traded stories about lice removal with our friends in the driveway and my mother-in-law chimed in, when she was growing up her mom just used lye or turpentine until their scalps burned, because that would kill just about anything.
My wife, who rarely touches the volume on the stereo and tolerates me to no end, made the mistake of interfering with T. Rex, forcing me to start it over again at the right level, but the moment was gone.
And I stayed up until after dark admiring the proud sprinkler unit as it spit and sputtered on the dial, the sound of a golf course in the morning or Las Vegas, sucking the water out of someplace unseen, spewing it all over everything, hosing it down.
Coming back from my mother-in-law’s over the hill facing east, the mountains have gone purple and they’re calling for record highs. When you’re moving out, it’s the coffee maker that’s the last to go, the hope dies last.