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.
Posted by Cheeseburger Brown at 10:41