I woke up and Dena was standing above me dressed in her rain-riding gear. “There’s coffee, it’s yummy!”
“Are you out of here?”
“Yep, see you on the boat.”
“Yes.” The kiss, the door, silence.
I (James) drag myself out and pump the first two cups in before the crust of another sleepless night in this fucked up place has left my limited vision.
The last of Cryptonomicon is coveted.
When I’m alone in this place I feel attacked with no armor, so I’m out.
With the bike and trailer packed I step out into the winter streets, into the rain. Before I’m even out of the community property I feel alone, it’s not as much fun. It’s not as much fun because when I’m by myself I tend to immerse myself in my week, in my past and before I know it I’m pushing myself to the limits of my abilities.
In no time flat I’m drenched in my own viscousness, heart pumping, burning.
I opt for the back country trail and almost immediately regret it but push on, I do. The snow is almost gone but what is left is thick and hard on a bed of cold wet earth that sucks my wheels deep in its grasp. The trail that we have come to know so well is unrecognizable in its present state. The trees have fallen over what was once a manicured urban refuge and the sludge is so thick in places that it can stop a biker cold. When I stop it’s a surgical procedure to remove the bike from the sucking mess.
After a while I regain the machine of the ride. The legs, the lungs, the heart, the perspiration, the twin jets of steam ejecting from my nostrils, all in sync, all a part of the experience that is my existence. I feel a sudden shudder, look behind me and notice that the wheel to the trailer is about 60 yards behind me and the trailer is buried in the snow all the way up to the fork that attaches it to the bike.
Meanwhile, I (Dena) have been riding to Planned Parenthood for my annual vag exam. I get a real pleasure out of going there when I have insurance that will pay because I think it very likely that I’ll have to go back someday without insurance or money. My pleasure aside, it’s in New London, the wrong direction for getting to the boat.
And I did a bad job of keeping that ride short.
First it was a left when I should have gone right. Next it was straight when I should have gone left, then straight on a shouda-gone-right. This place is hell for labeling the small road but never the major ones. Like we’re all just supposed to know the important ones. It made a 5.5 mile ride into at least 7 and added a handful of killer hills. At the clinic, I cleaned up in the bathroom as best I could before baring all to the practitioner.
No fuss, no muss, and I’m back out the door. Next is the bike shop, another killer hill away. The only late-arriving problem with my bike from its 2-week vacation underwater – the little drop of solder at the shifter end of my front derailleur cable rusted away and I have been riding on the smallest front gear. Not a problem really, but it gives me a very unsatisfactory top speed.
No fuss, no muss, once again. The guy there worked on my bike after the dunking and he was amused that this is the only thing that’s cropped up since. He was fast, too, so I jumped back on the bike.
Food! I went to Saeed’s International Market and got a falafel sandwich – yum! – and then back on the bike. Down the hill to our new boat-home come April. Burr’s Marina.
From Burr’s, it’s 5 minutes to an excellent coffee shop and 40 minutes to the community. Except that I kept riding and headed to the boat. On that topic? Well, what James said. Except that both my wheels stayed on the bike.
…Oh, my (James’) bike wheels stayed on, it was the trailer wheel that got yanked off while plowing through a web of fallen trees in the middle of nowhere! I trudged back through the muck and got the little 10 inch trailer wheel. It didn’t have any signs of damage but the wheel is attached with a quick-release hub and it must have been yanked open by all the detritus on the “trail”. Back at the bike I clipped the wheel back on, spun it in place, jumped back on the bike and resumed the labors.
I made to the boat only about 15 minutes later and immediately started MOVING ALL OUR SHIT, Yeah!
After doing that “thing” I decided to do a preliminary mock up to see how the counter-top and the cabinet face would all fit together and discovered a major error in our calculations from last week.
If you remember, we installed the stopper-blocks and the latches on all the cabinet hatches last week, a beautiful, simple and elegant method of stopping the hatches from opening too far into the cabinet. When I went to put it all together the stopper-blocks wouldn’t allow the cabinet to fit together, it didn’t fit! Shit!
You see, we forgot that we had installed an anti-flexing brace at the bottom of the foundation of the new cabinet to strengthen the horizontal lines and that brace is just a little too big for the stopper-blocks to fit under. So I had to (got to) remove all the stopper blocks on all the new hatches essentially undoing all the work we had done last week.
After I removed the blocks and the latches the new cabinet fit together perfectly.
I decided to put-a-pin in that one until Dena got back so we could work out that issue together.
Next I went to work on cutting the third final internal hatch-cover for the inside of the cabinet under the new drawer. That project went really well and I put the mock up together shortly thereafter without even getting a picture of it.
And that’s when I (Dena) arrived.
Freaked out and wrung out from a long, long morning, I had a hard time transitioning to the job at hand. James suggested a couple of tasks and gave me the space to shift to boat-think. We marked and cut the hole for the fresh water foot pump. We removed all the hatch covers.
Once I was there, I was all the way there.
“Okay. Let’s put it together.”
“Okay. Let’s do this thing!”
And we did.
After all these months of toting this shit back and forth, we were finally going to put the work together. We sanded the mating surfaces, coated them with West System G-Flex epoxy, and screwed.
The shelf we added in order to best use the inside space was a little wide and flexed the forward side out. A block and a clamp fixed that little problem, and a whole lot of screws and some epoxy will keep it fixed.
And there it was. The new galley was essentially together.
So of course, we broke out the whiskey, filled the Noanker cups, and freaked the fuck out.
There was nothing else to do at that moment. We couldn’t paint because the epoxy had to cure. The marine consignment shop wasn’t open, so we couldn’t shop for new hatch latches (doggonit). We were pretty happy with this option.
Let the freaking out begin!