Matt says the plumber Did a Bad Job. Matt doesn’t cuss so he says things like: “That dude did a half-butt job patching up the hole” which I find hilariously uncouth.
I follow Matt into the hardware store because I don’t want to be home alone with my brain. It’s been playing tricks on me lately and Matt is the only person who can take one look at my face and know if I'm losing touch with reality. He’s my DIY psychiatrist. I like to keep him on hand for emergencies.
We're shopping at OSH which stands for Orchard Supply Hardware but I like saying “OSH” because it’s more fun. Usually I don’t accompany Matt on these home repair errands because, well, I used to think it was boring. The world of DIY home improvement is a foreign land to me.
Matt is saying words that sound like English but which I don’t understand:
Rapid Set Stucco Patch
Vapor Barrier Stucco Backing
Concrete Rubber Bucket
I follow him around like a duckling, listening to him talk with the OSH guy about things I have never heard before and I wonder how it is he has managed to keep this manly world of trowels and wire cutters private from me. Then I remember that for the last twenty years or so I’ve been chasing delusions of grandeur. Also, this manly world is boring.
I pick up a broom and a roll of masking tape. I carry the broom on my shoulder like a fishing rod. I imagine myself as Huck Finn, trawling Aisle 32 for channel-lock wrenches, whatever those are.
Matt says: “Why did you get the corn stalk broom instead of the synthetic, angled broom?”
I don’t have an answer for this except that it looked like how a broom was supposed to look: like something a witch would ride.
“Angled brooms are better,” Matt says and so we switch them.
I feel proud of my new angled broom. Take that, ye dust bunnies. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this new, angled broom could also sweep away the dust bunnies in my mind? Tidy it up? Sweep it clean of its bipolar dirt?
“Am I boring you in here?” Matt asks.
“No,” I lie.
The truth is that I’m bored stiff but I much prefer boredom to being at home with my rapidly deteriorating brain.
“I think you need a nap,” Matt says after we pay for our stucco and trowels and broom.
“Yes, I think you’re right,” I say. “Home repair is exhausting.”