Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tiling Fool

I was a tiling fool today. Actually, other people did the tiling as such. I just mixed the mortar, cleaned tools, and sprayed water on the circular saw while someone else cut tiles to fit around the edges of the room. It wasn't my house anyway.

It was a perfect day for it. Beautiful blue, sunshiny sky with no mark on it but a few jet trails; cool, gentle breeze; low humidity, a rare gift in these parts. We had a fairly well-coordinated team too. We covered a lot of floor with tile in only 4 or 5 hours.

But I will admit that my body is in shreds right now. The first thing I needed was hand lotion, because even with latex gloves on, my skin was raw. A little bit later, the muscle pain set in - mostly in my hands. It's amazing how much elbow grease it takes to mix mortar, and when so much of that elbow grease migrates to your palms, you can end up griping where you would rather be gripping.

During the drive home the cough started. In pouring several sacks of powdered mortar into a large paint bucket, I created some prodigious clouds of dust. Inevitably, I inhaled enough pre-mix mortar to glue most of my bronchial passages shut. I am still coughing it up. Finally, my feet are kinda killing me too. I wasn't wearing particularly supportive footwear; and after my socks and boat-shoes got soaked, I wasn't wearing any footwear at all. So they're a bit achy and chapped too.

But all these boo-hoos have their compensation. The physical labor was a nice break from ho-hum desk work. My boss served me cold beer in the bottle - not once, but twice - and the one with the label (that wasn't somebody's remarkably successful home-brew) was a very nice "Honey Porter" by Sam Adams. Dinner followed the cessation of productivity, an enjoyable and sociable meal on a deck with the most scenic view of the Missouri River money can buy. The lotion, which I can still smell, had hemp in it (so, for all you know, I could be high right now). I took pride in my work, and the exercise didn't hurt. And after tomorrow's toils I have an interesting weekend to look forward to - more on that next week, perhaps.

No comments: