Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Scraping paint

Coming home filthy usually means one of two things: the day was spent playing hard, or the day was spent working hard. Both of these are good, so sometimes it's difficult for me to grasp the distrust of dirt and sweat in our society. I mean, I don't like smelling days of b.o. on people either, but I also don't understand the preoccupation that seems to be going around with not touching dirt. I love going to wash my hands and getting to see the water coming off black. I love looking in the mirror above the sink and seeing my face and neck covered in chips of paint, or glancing down and seeing primer on my knuckles. I like seeing evidence that I worked hard.

Twice in the last 24 hours I have been offered (in a vague sort of way*) a home-cooked dinner by a relative stranger. First, last night, by Kaiser (who caught me on an unusually open-minded day in the spring and received my phone number), after I actually answered his call for what was I think the first time. Secondly, this evening, by the friend of the people who live above the apartment I'm working on. He hung out on the deck some of the time while I was scraping paint, periodically appearing to ask, "are you still here?" and talk about books and NatGeo specials and jobs. He said he'll be back around on Monday.

All of that male attention is sort of strange for me, but mostly nice. I'm beginning to wonder though whether "I love to cook" is just something that guys like to toss out into the conversation like a baited hook into a pond, and see if they get a bite.

Tonight the James river flowing beneath the bridge was the most beautiful shade of greyish purple I have ever seen. I laughed aloud when I looked over and saw it. How often is the river purple beneath an overcast city sky?

*Meaning "at some point," rather than "right now."

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