The Meat Locker

The northern wall of our old schoolhouse is a piece of Swiss cheese, a brittle foam of brick and stone which has been irrigated and gutted, renovated and resealed so many times that it has become as permeable as lingerie.

Last year we tried using space-heaters and forcing air circulation with fans. This year we said "fuck it" and have declared the zone beyond our claim. We shut it off from the rest of the house, and I call it the Meat Locker.

This would prove only a minor inconvenience if it weren't for the fact that this inhospitable zone contains our only staircase communicating the second floor to the third. Thus, we are obliged several times a day to run the gauntlet of the Meat Locker's cold as we move throughout the schoolhouse.

I have taken to wearing socks.

My favourite time to hang about in the meat locker is in the small hours of the morning when the dog suddenly decides she urgently needs to go out to void her bowels, and then upon being let out loiters sleepily around the snowy yard, prowling patiently for a spot with all the just so! qualities she needs in order to feel that her turd has been well delivered unto the world.

Unwilling to dance by the side door in my robe I usually open the French door that serves as the Lower Airlock from the Meat Locker into the Great Room. I huddle on the couch that smells like dog and let the gas fire in the fireplace hypnotize me until I am barked back into service.

Afterward I jog up the stairs through puffs of my own visible breath, bank on the corner to preserve velocity, and am just about to shed my robe and sink back into bed when I realize that the cold has alarmed my bladder. I must now backtrack, and pee.

"Lord grant me a coma," I whisper into the dark.

On the way back I do a face-plant into a box of baby clothes being sorted for possible Baby Two applications, which is hilarious in a please-kill-me-now kind of way. I pull myself upright and slink past the ladder that leads to the Tiny Loft, hoping I haven't woken the toddler.

I rub my hands together, generating the frictive heat I will need to avoid causing my equipment to turtle when I move in to aim.

A smarter man wouldn't be poor.


anne arkham said...

You're still young enough that you're supposed to be poor. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are as smart as they come.

Sith Snoopy said...

What is it with dogs and the middle-of-the-night poo and/or pee session?

I feel like Snoopy, when Charlie Brown wants to build a snowman at 4am [long story], and tries to wake Snoopy to help him. Snoopy responds with thought balloons:

"At 4 o'clock in the morning!? Wake me when the snow is warmer..."

But still, they must wake me up so they can go out.

I sit on the couch and surf the web, covered up in couch-blankets, until they come back inside.

And yes, what is the DEAL with having to find JUST THE RIGHT SPOT to deposit said poo or pee? WHY?

BTW, your dog is very cute. :)

As to "a smarter man wouldn't be poor", after reading your blog and the rest of your work:
1) Your life seems far from poor. :)
2) Your writing skills are probably going to make you rich! Or at least, this is what I'm hoping and praying, since it seems to be what you would like to do to pay the bills. :)

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Anne, Sith:

Shit, that last line was just a throwaway. I'm not really poor -- I just wish I had more money. Who doesn't? (Shut up. I know who doesn't. It was a rhetorical throwaway. Um...again.)

I eat three squares a day and enjoy broadband information access, and there's currently 4 beer in the fridge. We each have a good winter coat, and we don't have to buy the pet kibble that's made largely of old banana peels and cigarette butts.

It's true that 2005 has pretty much been the worst financial year of my career, but things are more likely to improve than worsen in 2006. I have been working at the situation, after all. I have high hopes. It is my Christmas Wish to have all the details settled before the New Year, so I don't have to think about it anymore.

At any rate, I really didn't think about what a pall that last line would cast over my entry. I kinda like my meat locker. I'm not feeling down about it. It's funny, really.

Matthew Frederick Davis Hemming

anne arkham said...

Your dog has good taste. Mine actually prefers cigarette-butt kibble.

2005 might have sucked financially, but you've accomplished phenomenal stuff. I have every confidence it will pay off in the end.

Sith Snoopy said...

Dude, I kindof thought you meant that tongue in cheek.

But just in case... :)

I hope 2006 is a wonderful improvement. :)

And i second what Anne said; you have accomplished some amazing things this past year!