Then the reverie begins, the silky siren call of the set square juxtaposed to the tenon saw's tantalising teeth, the luscious lump hammer loaded with speed and moment, the wile and guile of whitewash sensuously stroked upon sullied walls, the supplicant's very consciousness overcome by thoughts of rigorous renovation relieved by seductive sensuous sanding and a perfectly smooth paint job, the task is completed. With the fruit of his labour resplendent and in full public view, friends and family gather to utter acknowledgment, appreciation, admiration and adoration for mans mastery over his subject and domestic domain, entirely deserved. A vision sublime.
In some cases self-deluded souls act out their folly with stubbornly consistent consequences. Sixty seconds after tools and equipment are lovingly laid upon the workbench this idyll of perfect preparation and expectation clears to reveal the somber reality, the horror, and a clear path to God.
Squinting eyes beneath furrowed brow peep through the fingers of a trembling hand protectively drawn across face as gaze rotates through 360 degrees upon my bathrooms state of repair. In the pit of my stomach there is a full biochemical rush activating my bodies fight or flight response. After evaluating the consequences of a physical assault I usually err on the side of flight. After retiring to the kitchen, avoiding the accusing gaze of a hole in the wall that needs plastering, I make a diversionary cup of tea and present a vacant stare to the world, eyes twitching, banjaxed. **
The vision of DIY heaven and fulfillment is one many men possess, often secretly. It commonly appears at significant turning points along life's path. The trigger could be anything, new job, new house, new girlfriend, new bizarre and disturbing underpants. Your physical and meta-physical world get a shakeup; you re-evaluate. Thoughts and things that were solid become turbulent, shifted, moved around; they become more loved, less loved or they become unloved. Hidden flaws and imperfections, cunningly camouflaged or studiously ignored are revealed once more for scrutiny and review. Different people will react in different ways, not all of them rational or sane.
I reflect on the realities of resolving personal turmoil by keeping myself busy in the house with a sledgehammer and welding torch. Then pour myself another cup of tea.
** Now let me explain the word banjaxed. A brief etymological search has revealed some colourful possibilities. This word is neither rational or sane, it is without pedigree or breeding and as such it is a perfect fit for the piece. Tis the banjax to be sure. Its lack of exact meaning, if it ever had one, is its strength.
In this exchange between a user called "The Bollox" and a user called "Flutterinbantam" on an Irish site called boards.ie you can almost smell the peat fire and taste the Guinness as they share a convivial review of its antecedence. And, at the very end there is sufficient doubt left to allow the conversation to continue at another place at another time.
A thoroughly agreeable outcome.
Max Crean (C) 2010
All Rights Reserved