He wants to put her earrings in his mouth. He wants to lick the smoothness of the metal, let it roll around on his tongue. Her earrings look like water droplets, like clean, clear water, water that would quench and rejuvenate him, make him holy. And those are just her earrings, he thinks. Imagine the rest of her.
She's frowning and pointing at an item on the sheet of paper in her hand.
"It says 3/4 inch. Not an inch and a half. That's three quarter of an inch more. That's about" -- she puts her thumb and index finger close together -- "this much. What am I supposed to do?"
She's wearing a wine-coloured scarf,
swaddles what must be a fine white neck. The contrast
makes him tilt his head, like a confounded dog. bordeaux
She's standing in front of his white work van, waving the sketch in her hand, then lowering it with a sigh. She brushes a strand of blond hair away from her face and turns her head toward the house. Grey overcast sky makes the blue coat she wears pop and zigzag in his vision. He figures he should offer her some comfort.
"The countertop guys should be here soon," says Bogden. "It doesn't effect the dishwasher hook up." He scratches his nose and looks at her right earring. Redemption
She's standing in front of his grandson's picture plastered on the side of his van. The toddler has enormous blue eyes and is holding up a wrench. He is adorable, or was adorable when the picture was taken. Now he's 15 and rarely lifts his head up from his phone. Underneath the picture is a proud declaration -- Born To Be A Plumber. Bogdan prays that his grandson will put down his phone and pick up a wrench, but his grandson shows no interest in the trade. He shows no interest in anything, as far as Bodgan can tell.
The thought flushes him like a flu. I don't want her to notice the picture. He takes a step back, and hopes she will follow his lead. She holds the sketch limply by her side, and it flutters in the breeze. Her eyes are squinting toward the house.
almost finished, The two storey addition of a new master bedroom, new en suite
bathroom, rooftop patio and new kitchen matches the other two storey additions
in the neighbourhood. Huge windows, sliding doors, dark grey aluminium siding
-- sleek minimalism for tumultuous times. reno
She's not moving. Her jaw is firm, her breath is quick, she stares with determination, but he sees her blink, a crack of sorrow.
He takes a deep breath to collect himself. He wants to make her life better. He resists the urge to ask for her hand. He could measure at her pleasure, ensure that space is precise, that everything is symmetrical. But he is a pipe man. They don't get the glory -- the cabinetmakers do. His work is vital but homely.
She sighs again. Does he hear a soft moan?
"Listen," she says finally.
He looks into her eyes, the grey sky and blue coat stirred together, a colour in the painter's palette on the stairs inside.
Suddenly, he's following her into the house. She's moving quickly, through the front door, passed the painters and the finishers and into the spacious kitchen and living room space. His arthritic legs, two rusty pipes, carry him along. She runs her hand over the kitchen island's granite countertop and then tries to open a drawer underneath. The drawer stops at the lip of the countertop.
"This is," she says, her voice trembling "unacceptable."
She turns away and looks out the floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors. Bogdan also looks out the windows, at the damp autumn leaves on the new deck. He wants to apologize for something that wasn't his responsibility. He was born a plumber. Born a plumber.
"How am I going to feed my family," she asks.
She looks sideways at a corner of the room.
"How am I going to feed my family? If I can't open the drawers?"
Bodgan fishes around his front pocket and holds his wallet. He thumbs the leather and searches for the picture of his wife. He knows the picture by touch -- it's resin-coated and dog eared. He caresses it with his thumbs and gazes into the woman's eyes.
Then he remembers. He wags his finger at her and makes his way over to the stairs. He finds the painter's palette and fans it out, searching through the hues. The colour is a cool bath in the mountains with her.
"This is it," he says, "this is the colour. Borrowed Light! Number 235. Borrowed Light!"
She looks at him quizzically, and he feels his throat closing in on itself.
"I don't know what you mean," she says.
He makes a fist. His grandson will pick up the trade. He'll show him how to cut holes for piping and install drains for waterlines. Get the bastard to carry a bathtub up two floors. Bring his grandson down into a basement to look into a pipe and get another tradesman to flush a toilet to let water and shit rain on his grandson's face. His grandson, no longer a toddler like he once was, just seemed to be, not long ago.
Bogdan clears his throat and places the colour wheel on the counter.
"This colour. This colour is popular with clients," he says.
She glances at the paint chip. "It's more of a wash, really," she offers.
He hears heavy footsteps approaching.
"I think the counter top guys are here. It will be okay."
He wants her to be okay, but doesn't say so. Instead, he looks around for some tools to take to the van. He grabs a few wrenches and hammers and leaves, brushing by the counter guys.
Taking the stairs slowly, he heads to his van, his toddler grandson looming large on the side panel. Bodgan makes his way slowly, reminding himself that he has no mortgage, no debt, and makes lots of money. He gives the tools in his hands a light squeeze. Yep. Born to be a plumber.