Tools, sweat, building, also books and sometimes sex

Posts tagged not carpentry

36 notes &

I was running along Green Street in Central Square this evening. A woman sat on a stoop wearing all blue, legs splayed, muttering. Central Square has its share of ne’er-do-wells, junkie congregations, typical city maniacs. A young man walked by the woman on the stoop, he a fancy Dan in business casual, khakis, dress shoes, peering into his phone. She didn’t like it. She didn’t like it at all. She yelled with a force and volume that turned heads at the bus stop a block and a half away. “I see you,” she yelled. “I see you there. Fuck you motherfucker. Fuck you. You don’t touch my beaver while you’re holding that handheld device.”

Filed under Cambridge not carpentry overheard Central Square

21 notes &

M. is working on a kitchen right now. Part of it involved the building of an arched doorway. I’ve never built an arch or seen one built, and I was sad to miss out on it. I haven’t worked since November 28. The red cast is off my wrist, but it’s still a weak place. I can lift a pint of beer with my left hand now, but can’t, for example, hold a pot of water for pasta while it fills in the sink, even with both hands.

Brain and body start to crave the satisfaction of making things. I’ve read a lot during my invalidity, and written some stuff down, and there’s accomplishment and satisfaction in both, but it’s not the same.

My boyfriend’s mother gave to me her old sewing machine, a brawny, well-built, well-kept instrument. Behemoth, too, at fifty pounds, give or take. I was missing tools, maybe, and took it out for the first time, and read through the instruction book, and liked words like bobbin and threader.

After winding the thread in the places it needed to go, little light illuminating the needle and the foot, I pressed my foot on the accelerator and ⎯ thun, thun, thun ⎯ the needle bumped up and down through the fabric. Stitches wild and uneven! Wide then tight, nothing steady. And I remembered middle school home-ec and making scrunchies.

I practiced on scraps. Attention focused on the needle, down-up down-up, and moving the fabric along straight and steady, and the noise of it, a humming behind the thun, thun, thun. A lot like pushing wood through a saw. No sawdust. Less noise. I held my breath the same way. Good concentration and stitches got straighter and more even.

I made a tablecloth. It covers the tabletop and the pattern hides stains. Productivity and accomplishment as measured by making things that do a job. Antidote to feeling useless.

Filed under this tablecloth is actually covered in stains injury uselessness sewing not carpentry