The body shop finally took my truck in. I asked the shop owner how long to expect.
“Well I just don’t know.”
Not even an estimate?”
“Well I could give you one, but I’d have to lie to ya. I just don’t know.”
So I gave him the keys and rode back to the Oklahoma house with Daniel. We’d already pulled the trailer over there and locked the ladders to it. At this point we’re around to the backside facing Cornelia and almost done with the priming.
Daniel later took me to Enterprise to get my new “work truck.” They put me in a late model, gun metal four door Dodge Avenger with chrome wheels. Ultra clean. I was wearing my sweaty, white paint clothes, covered in grime, and picking dried caulk off my hands under the counter where she couldn’t see. The last thing she told me: I should consider adding comprehensive coverage or else get the car out of peril, should these afternoon storms ever produce anything. It wouldn’t be covered by my insurance.
“No that’s okay,” I said. I initialed the clipboard and landed into the immaculate car. Black interior, spotless. I turned the station to Q93 Top Country. Then I picked up two more dirty painters and filled the trunk full of drop cloths, brush boxes, cut buckets and rags for an inside job in 4th and Gill. We had to dodge the rain. But why didn’t I get the white minivan?
We’re prepping and staining new windows in this house. It’s one of our upcoming jobs, interior upstairs and the entire exterior. Finally the thunder clapped and lightning hit so close that the whites of your eyes felt it. The sheet rock guys were outside smoking cigarettes, and witnessing the flood of Deery St. One was still wearing his metal stilt legs and sitting high on a pile of materials. It was like he’d made a perch for his smoke breaks so he wouldn’t have to take them off.
“Hope those things are insulated,” I said, looking out at the storm and up at him.
“Don’t think so,” he said.
We were soaked in the time it took to cross the street and jump in the car. We drove it to the KenJo BP and sat by a gas pump to wait out the threat of hail. Cars had crammed under every foot of the gas station and we stood there with the bums and bicycle riders, eating potato chips, and experiencing my first rain out while working indoors.
Knox and Daniel both drank their second double Red Bull of the day and I had my more moderate vice of recent days, Coke Zero. That’s weak, I know. And with our buzz on we got back to painting. Or staining.
We got 14 windows sanded and seven of them conditioned and stained. We’ll finish the other seven, then give them two coats of poly and that’s how it goes. Maybe on the next rainy day.
But for tomorrow, I ‘m ready to see some color on the Oklahoma house. I know you are too. So come on back and have a look.