Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Installation

"They'll be there between 9:00 and 1:00," the promiser had promised, and I waited, bags packed, because when the deed I'd paid $800 for was finished, I was leaving town. At 1:00 p.m. I called the promiser and said, "I was supposed to get a garage door installed today," and at 1:01, I am not kidding, the truck drove up. It was like conceptual art.

There was only one laborer. For his electric tools he had a 30-foot yellow cord that just barely reached through my front door and into my bathroom, where the three-prong socket nearest the garage is. We were both relieved it wasn't farther. I asked, "How long will this take?" "Couple hours," he said. I couldn't imagine how he'd dismantle the old wooden garage door alone, and disassemble the pulley tracks and put up new ones, and install a new door, but couldn't watch; I stayed busy to keep my mind off the ticking clock: The later I left home, the later I'd get to where I was going: 10 p.m.; then 11 p.m.

Finally, at 3:30, I went outside to ask how it was coming, and he was heading toward the house, coiling up the electrical cord, and he said it was finished. He'd left some dirty fingerprints on the new white door, and a swipe of blood (must have cut himself) and carefully wiped  them away and showed me how the door can now be lifted practically with a finger, and how it locked, and not to fling the door upward with all my strength until a couple of weeks had passed, and gave me a silver sticker from his company that I could put on the door or not, and call the number on it if anything went wrong.

Well, it just knocked me down with a feather, the whole event. "It's beautiful," I said. "Where's the old door?"

"There." It was in his truck bed, its four sections stacked; each section had simply been unscrewed from the other, and that's how he took down the weighty garage door. And put up a new one. I had to leave right after that, but I almost wished I could have stayed to admire the new door until I got my fill of it.

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