and short stories
I'm also a singer, guitarist, and horror enthusiast, working on my first novel. Until that's available, please take a minute to check out one of my short stories entitled The Wall.
Something appears to move out of the corner of my eye.
Is that the cat? No, not the cat. Just a blanket. Let me just grab the vacuum and do a couple of my nighttime chores and then I’ll get to folding laundry.
As I reach for the vacuum, it slips through my hands. I watch it crash towards the floor, its top-heavy handle picking up speed as it races for my freshly painted wall. It grazes the wall with enough force to take out a chunk of paint and drywall.
Okay, there’s got to be spackle around here somewhere. I remember packing it before we move.
It’s probably out in the garage with the paint rollers. I walk around to the foyer and open the door to the one-car garage. “Garage door left,” my alarm system chimes. The heat is overwhelming. I walk over to the far back cabinet and flip the tiny little latch upwards so I can access the paint. Blue, beige, white. I grab the can of white paint and put it on the ground. I look for the toolbox and spot it in the corner. Its latches are starting to rust. I make a mental note to invest in a new toolbox.
I rifle around for something to dislodge the lid to the paint can, trying to tune out the overwhelming smell of a bonfire. Usually, I like the smell of a bonfire in summer. It reminds me of family cookouts- not something I ever had with my parents as a kid- but it reminds me of roasted marshmallows and charred meat.
I get the aching knot in the pit of my stomach again and push it from my mind with all my might. The wall has a gash in it and I need to fix it. I just paid a lot of money to have my basement redone and I’m not going to let a vacuum ruin that for me.
I pry open the lid to the paint can and give it a shake. I locate the spackle and some sandpaper and a tiny paintbrush and make my way back inside.
I head to the bathroom for some paper towels- I just redid the floors and I don’t want the paint to splatter onto them. My mind starts to wander and I start to think of the mall and how I miss shopping but I redirect my thoughts because this chunk missing from my wall is going to drive me crazy if I don’t take care of it tonight. I mean, yeah, it’s 2 am but I need to get this done so it can dry by morning.
Cracking open a window, I instantly regret it. I close the window and prepare to paint the wall.
Okay, so let’s see. This spackle is purple, which means it dries white. Here’s hoping, at least. I apply a generous layer of spackle and wipe some off. Then I head to the laundry room where I keep a hair dryer, especially for moments like this. With hairdryer in hand, I head to the hall closet and look through my clear plastic bins, all labelled with the contents. “Extension cords.” I pull out a long, white extension cord and slowly unravel it. I attach it to my hair dryer and plug it in so it can reach the spot on the wall with the spackle.
I turn the hairdryer on and watch as it turns red- there’s some type of gimmicky infrared light on the tip of it that allegedly help keep flyaways at bay, or so the box advertised. I don’t know- I use it to dry spackle and paint.
Once the paint turns white, I start to sand. I sand down the spackle until it’s nice and flat. At this point, I’m pleased with my work. This is my motorcycle maintenance. I grab my paintbrush and start to paint. I make sure to paint with careful little strokes- when the basement was remodeled, I’m pretty sure the crew used rollers, so the stroke pattern will be different.
As soon as I finish painting the spot on my wall, I again hit it with my hairdryer. I can see the paint slowly starting to dry. I walk over to the desk and grab my Game of Thrones lamp. I think back to watching the show in my condo, missing the beach. Missing leaving the house.
A loud bang rips me from my reverie.
I get back to the task at hand. I grab my lamp and head over to inspect the paint job I’ve just completed. Looks good. No visible brush strokes. I actually notice some other brush strokes and wonder if the painters maybe didn’t use a roller but used paintbrushes themselves.
Then I spot it.
An imperfection in my paint strokes.
It appears as if I was a little heavy-handed with the paint, and I can see a glob near the base of my work.
A dried glob.
I grab my sandpaper and start to smooth it out. But at this point, I can’t tell where my paint job ends and where my layer of paint applied by the professionals begins. And I know I’m probably sanding off more paint than I should be.
I start to sweat. I just had this basement redone. I can’t have fucked up a wall already. Okay, relax, I remind myself. There’s a paint roller in the garage. You saw it when you went to get the paint supplies.
I walk back through the foyer and over to the garage door. “Garage door left” I hear my alarm system say as I open the door. The heat hits me in the face, the smell of smoke overwhelming.
I make my way over to the paint supplies. I spot the roller. It’s bigger than I need for this small area. I root around a bit and then I spot it. Success! There’s a brand new small roller, perfect for this job.
Roller in hand, I make my way back through my foyer and into my basement. I walk over to the wall and dip my roller into the paint can. I coat it in paint and slather a thick layer onto the wall. I use this layer to spread out the paint, going as far as the crown moulding above and the trim near my feet.
You’d never know I painted this wall.
It looks absolutely perfect.
I go to the laundry room and clean off my supplies in the slop sink. The cold water splashes out against my legs. It feels good.
I go back to the wall to inspect my work. I grab my Game of Thrones lamp and give the wall a throughout once-over.
It looks amazing. Even better than before.
I head for the garage and put all my paint supplies away. I ignore the smell of smoke. I need to find the hammer so I can close up this paint can. Never know when I may need to fix more damage to a wall.
Once inside the foyer, I look down. My hands are filthy. I need to get this paint off before it’s crusted on. I head for the bathroom and scrub my hands. The paint turns the water in the sink a frothy, milky white. I dry my hands on the paper towels I keep nearby.
I make my way back to my wall and see some paint and dust on the floor. I grab my steam mop and clean up after myself. This is a brand new floor. I don’t want paint on it. I head back to the laundry room to put the dirty mop head in the clear plastic bucket I reserve for dirty rags and such. I’ll do laundry tomorrow.
Time for bed.
As I head upstairs, I take a look over my shoulder and out the window above my front door. I can see the entire city.
Another building collapses.
But at least my walls are perfect.
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