#140 Glazers

by Whitney Bratton

The glazers come at three in the afternoon, two round men speaking rapid fire Spanish. They go straight to the bathroom, hand out moss-green towels, the wheeled laundry cart, the box of cat litter. Then in comes the equipment, paint spattered and scuffed from riding in the pickup truck. A sander, a device to assign the glaze, a workman’s box of putty knives and scrapers.

He watches, useless, scratching away at a sketchbook. A moment ago the cat had been purring on his lap, watching him secure the lines of a buxom she-warrior to the page. The initial drafts are due by six. But now the cat is hiding in the bedroom, where he wishes he could hide too. The scraping, the growl-whine of the sander, the blast of the powerful fan. New glaze, to stop the mold, to stop the crumbling.

His head aches from the Bando vapors. It won’t harm you, they say, it’s the same stuff they use on cars.

Then they spray. Paint fumes hit his sinuses like secondhand smoke. He feels a migraine rumble into action. One hour countdown till he can’t function.

A fine lining of dust dulls the marble sink. Four hours, they tell him, four hours till you can come back to your own house. The cat will be fine, just crack a window.

We’ll send you the bill, young-man-who-cannot-repair-his-own house. We’ll call in a couple of days to check in, guy-who-draws-pictures-of-godesses-and-dragons-and-ice-trolls-for-money. No shower for twenty-four hours.

4 comments:

n8thnielcayanan said...

I love the efficiency of this piece! Just beautiful! Worth reading again and again, since each time I do, it becomes more interesting.

n8thnielcayanan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bookspersonally said...

Love the cadence in this, and the sentiment captured in the closing line.

Shona Snowden said...

Beautifully written slice of life.