Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fixing Things Can be Messy

When the old middle school—but at the time referred to as a the junior high school—began to fall apart and the cost of repairing a senile boiler, checking for mold, caulking the cracks, scraping decades of wax out of every corner, replacing outdated and unusable chalk boards, fixing leaky pipes and toilets became overwhelming a new school replaced the old school.

The school underwent a metamorphosis. It became a cluster of studios for artists. The boiler, repaired to a point—mold relegated to the basement level—leaks contained, chalkboards removed or painted, wax left as a reminder of the June cleaning when the school janitor spread a thick glossy wax over the floors. Often what was underneath simply became a collage covered by liquid wax—no prior wax was ever stripped.

The entrance, transformed into a gallery space, sparkled. Some of the basement studios still sport a primordial scent.

Windows no longer kept the outside out in the winter time. Wind and occasional snow drifted inside. The cost of replacing windows was prohibitive. Instead of replacement the windows were caulked with an orange putty which probably has a specific name—I'll refer to to it as goop.

I expect that it works well enough. The building seems warm enough and the orange putty only appears on the back of the building and on the lower windows. Solutions sometimes are messy.

I think it's a metaphor for day to day existence—fixing things can be messy, not all tied up with a ribbon, not even the best solution.


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