Wednesday, January 20, 2010

William Don't live Here Any More

Brother William's hormonal heat for my high school girlfriend Carmella lasted even longer than my own, but he never got beyond his doggy attempts to hump her leg on the sly during the year Carmy and the Cheer Leaders adopted him as a mascot.

Gee was his first human lover and she was a slightly deeper involvement, but he had still been primitive enough with her, that......... after a few months of fireworks on the Roof of Goldwin Smith Hall, and nymphing though the gorges from Bridge House to Brooktondale......he had been able to walk off without notice or goodbye.

His cool stiff-arm, enabled him to make occasional use of women who imagined they could keep him as a pet, a curiosity, or a cause. But just about always, either he or the woman, one of them would actually fall in whatdoyoucallit with the other, and would either run out in flames or wake up in ashes.

Over the years, William became even more and more a loner.....if to be more a loner was possible for the original Feral Boy of Natural Bone --- who never would have even showed up in our back yard that day a million years ago, if the dog had not brought him home. Solitude really thrills and fills William. You can see it. He glows like a berry when he first appears in town from a month of drinking muddy water and sleeping in a hollow log somewhere.

After a couple of years with me here at Dog's Plot, William had begun to make noise about how he was going to drag his Ark up the to Great Slave Lake ..... and maybe he would have at least headed off that way... but then around came Gee again.
And he got to be uncharacteristically comfortable with Gee here.... but It still didn't seem like he was exactly on fire for her.

So when she left, you wouldn't expect him to go chasing after her.... especially when it means going back to Bridge house: the scene of several sad chapters, including one of his own which had ended unpleasantly.
You wouldn't expect him to go back to Bridge house, but you would be wrong.

One night a month or so back, I was trying to put together a little article on how to make your own private, floating island .
I had the old 35mm prints laid out on the floor and was photographing them with the digital camera, which does a better job than my old scanner.
But then William stepped in from the deck , holding the little red guitar Gee always used as a case for her chef tools.
He stood there {on several of my island prints) his face all twisted, the little guitar face down in his hands.......the door on it's back open . Empty.
Gee's velvet-wrapped French knife, steel, and stone were gone.
Did she leave the empty guitar to make him think for a while that she was going to return, or so that he would pack up and bring it to her? I don't know and William didn't say much, but enough said.
Two days later, carrying the duct tape guitar case mummy of what he had taken from Aunt Sammy years ago when he set off on his own, he stalked out the driveway, long pants twisting around his drywall stilts.

This means that now I can set up in the trailer to cut foam and do the first fiber coats on another floating island.

And then maybe Olive could brood some chicks there in the Spring.

Anyway, with William gone, the pretense that he and I are one and the pretty much blown.

I have always had to do a lot of heavy editing on brother Willy's folk-typing ....and I obviously wrote the post about Bridge house entirely after he left.

I expect we'll hear from William before we even miss him...... and we wish him well, but regardless of William, I want to go on in another post sometime to tell about Cameo White: that most famous resident of Bridge House, who was Ithaca's greatest fraud and most frustrated impresario. She seems to be, from beyond the grave but without our needing to get all superstitious about it, still seeking acknowledgement and pushing her film project.
But first I have to crank out this Floating Island article, and here comes the weather to worry about.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Davey Weathercock's Green Revolution

As on this remote slope in tiny town, most of our midlife houses have standard asphalt shingles, cupped , humped, and cracked by sun and rain. Lichens and moss have found a moist home and scattered fairy ranges of tundra have evolved.
Field flowers followed in natural secession , and then woody plants like these black raspbery brambles.
Next on this roof came Honeysuckle. This one appears to be of the foreign invasive variety, but take it from Davey, if you uprooted it or one of the sapling cottonwoods (which actually may be adding some structural support to the entire system} THEN you and the chimney and all would likely fall into the everlasting darkness.
Here and now, in this rapidly aging world, we have to deal with things as they are, and immediately take care of the obvious chimney problem.

In place of the tree junk and rooted growth which has built up behind the chimney, there should be what roofers call a cricket: a short ridge between two little roof slopes, to shed water each side of the chimney. Nature loves a Cricket and has built one here, but it is not doing a great job of shedding water.

Davey's solution?
It's high time for a green roof conversion, and anyway, the process is well advanced.
So we made a U shaped aluminum trough and stuck into the cricket, to help it drain through. Then another to make sure the water was carried past the receding eaves.
We also gooped the minor flashing gaps at the chimney side, and made sure the squirrel entrance into the cricket was not going to take water and was unobstructed. You do not want to shut squirrels in your roof.
They might try to get out by way of the bath room vent .

And , in case I didn't say this at the very beginning. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WALK ON A ROOF IN THIS CONDITION. GET OFF OF THERE.