We stowed most of our belongings properly soon after the move. However, an assortment of oddments was piled in the workshop creating an unfortunate mess. For months this collection of crap has made the building unusable.
I've devoted large chunks of the past few weekends to cleaning the workshop. I've hung tools, shelved books, boxed comics, sorted computer parts, and generally had a splendid time.
You see, the workshop has a pot-bellied stove. In order to get any work done in these near-freezing temperatures, I must build a fire1. It takes time for the room to heat. The workshop fills with smoke and warmth. I bide my time while sipping from my flask2 and puffing on my pipe3.
Through most of the cleaning, my soundtrack has been AM 970 — "classic country". I've heard Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue" several times now4.
At last tonight most everything is in place. The shop is clean. I still have CDs, floppy disks, and various wires to sort, but most of the work is done. Tools hang from the pegboard, books are neatly tucked on shelves, my record albums are lined on a bench (taking fifty-three inches of space). Boxes and boxes of computer components have been organized by type.
Best of all, I've hooked up the stereo.
It's difficult to imagine feeling more content than I am now.
I'm sitting in a corner of the shop, scribbling on a notepad. My feet are propped on a bench. I've a pleasant buzz from the pinot gris at dinner (a delicious chicken dish Kris prepared) and a few sips of Scotch. I'm puffing on my pipe. My Wheelock's Latin is open to the second chapter; I've been studying5. Beethoven's ninth symphony — the chorale — is playing on the phonograph6, wending its way to the chorus: "Ode to Joy"7. (How fitting!)
The room is warm.
My chronic depression of autumn seems ages ago.
1The previous owners left a stack of smallish wood scraps and logs. Enough to last this witner. I'll need to replenish my fuel eventually, but I've plenty for now. (Also, I'm gradually burning the Christmas tree.)
3I've moved my stock of Holmes tobacco to the shop, along with my spare pipe. When I smoke in such a small space, the room fills with the rich aroma of pipey goodness.
4The station seems to have a week-long music rotation, so that the same songs get played every weekend. Bring on "Delta Dawn"!
5Da veniam puellae, amabo te.
6I've accumulated approximately 350 record albums. A part of my collection comprises those classical albums my father played repeatedly when I was a child. This is one of them.
7"Be embraced, Millions! This kiss for all the world!"
8Early February 1989: the prodigious snowfall has melted. I've recently begun dating Kris. I'm on my way across campus to see her in Belknap Hall. As I reach the clock tower, it begins to chime nine o'clock. I feel completely at peace. I've never been happier. This moment — in the shop — is the closest I've come.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2004 — Your Money or Your Life A year ago Christmas, Michael gave me the book Your Money or Your Life. I never read it. It's at the top of my reading list now.
2003 — Double Date Here are the lyrics to 'You're the Inspiration'. Feel free to sing along.