Cherie Priest

Tiny Godzilla since 1975

Windows and Whatnot

2 years, 6 months ago, in the evening

Because I’m inordinately lucky, and construction projects follow me everywhere … tomorrow we’re getting new windows. Yes, that’s right – we’ll be the first apartment to receive this treatment, and it’s all I can do to keep from screaming.

But it’s not the building manager’s fault, and it’s not the installers’ fault. And, to be frank, we do desperately need new windows.

This place has needed new windows for decades, if not longer; it’s a historic building coasting on its original single-panes, and they’re awful. I’ll be glad to see them go. Every week, I burn through a roll of paper towels (give or take) and a healthy dose of bleach solution, removing the black/green muck that grows ever-so-happily upon these damn windows.

Except.

I work from home, and I’m in the middle of an absolutely horrifying deadline – rewriting a book that was badly broken and unfinished when I handed it in. It’s an utter mess, and I’m trying to fix it – but it was due weeks ago, and if I can’t hand in something markedly better by the end of this month, I will be causing problems for people everywhere and shooting my own fool self in the foot while I’m at it.

So I want you to guess how much work I can expect to get done when strange men are stomping through my frigid, temporarily open-air office for the next two days. No, I can’t leave. I have a dumb (if darling) cat to keep out from underfoot, and literally no room without windows in which I can shut her; I also have a small aquarium that must maintain some measure of climate control, so that’ll be a fun trick here in January, but whatever. I’ll do my best.

No, this is not a catastrophic interruption. Yes, it’s only a couple of days. But when you’re running this far behind, a couple of days feels like an epoch.

I’m just pissed, that’s all. I’m pissed, and I’m sick of it.

My original fondness for this building has been steadily eroded, and now I can hardly stand to be home, some days. The construction that surrounds us, day in and day out … the constant maintenance issues … the damp … mold (dear GOD the mold) …

And yes, I know that new windows will mitigate some of these things, but it’s really too late. The mold eats into our apartment not merely through the constant mutant muck colonies on the wet windows, but through the walls and ceiling. Seriously, you should see our living room. Over the last year, the mold/damp has stained the old beadboard pattern right into the paint. It’s disgusting, there’s nothing I can do about it, and new windows aren’t going to fix it.

This place is a permanent assault on my allergies, my dignity, and my sanity. In the words of the immortal Charlie Brown: I just can’t stand it.