Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fear and Wood

The flooring finally arrived. I had it delivered to Bradenton so I could pick it up and also swing by to visit with my Aunt. I had to rent a truck for the day because I recently traded my van for a Honda Fit. Oh well.

The guys at the lumber store were having a terrible time--their computers were down, and the place was in complete disarray. I forgot to bring my invoice, so I had to call Cheryl (who was home with a cold) to fax it to the store. And even then, the store manager doubted that he could go on without the computers--in fact, he was descending into a catatonic state, as if his world was melting.

I told him what I did for a living, and we had a good talk about humanity and communication and trust and the deceptive, insidious effects of technology on our lives. He agreed (after some coaching) that he could always update the computer later, and we finished the transaction with a handshake and some signatures.

The warehouse guy and I wrapped the wood with plastic wrap all around the tailgate of the truck so that hopefully it wouldn't fly out on the way home. But halfway over the skyway bridge the wrap came unwrapped and began to reel out like a banner behind the truck. I had no choice--I pulled over to the narrow shoulder near the top of the bridge.

I have an irrational fear of heights. Just the thought of stopping on that bridge makes me ill. And I certainly never thought I would actually stand on it. When the traffic cleared I got out and the wind hit me and almost took me away to Mexico. A long string of plastic wrap was flapping across the road, and I pulled it back just before a big truck screamed by. At the back of the pickup the covering was torn to shreds. I wanted to stay as far away from the traffic as possible, but this put me near a 100 ft drop (I never even looked in that direction). By accident I discovered that if I twisted the wrap it turned into a very strong rope of plastic. Soon I had a few ropes around the back of the wood, and they lasted until I got home.

I hope the floor looks really good.

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