My Life

The Giant Crack in the Night

Firstly, I feel it is my moral duty to point out that this post is not about any of the salacious imagery some of you may have imagined upon reading the title. Normally, I wouldn’t feel compelled to make this disclaimer (after all, I am the most chaste and pure thing to have ever been birthed in Oklahoma, said no one, ever). But as some of you may recall from a recent post, Unexpected Penetration, this site has been the target of certain unfocused individuals seeking sordid stories of a coital nature.

Whilst I welcome one and all to Bonnywood (please sign the guest book and take advantage of the complimentary nibbly bits), it’s only fair that I let said seekers know that this post is not going to satisfy their carnal needs. Please continue with your Internet journey by clicking on another link, hopefully one that will help you find your people and you can all celebrate your inability to mature. Bon voyage! (By the way, please delete your browser history after leaving Bonnywood, as I don’t relish being innocently ensnared in the porn scandal that will inevitably knock on your door. Well, your parents’ door. Mom and/or Dad will have to lead the investigators to the basement where you have been living in social awkwardness since high-school graduation.)

Secondly, none of the above should be construed as my disapproval of erotica or outright pornography. Far from it, as I have done extensive years of research in both realms, partly due to my firm belief that all cultural aspects should be explored and partly due to the unattended firmness of other things. (That sound you hear is the gasping of a few readers as they click the “unfollow” button. So be it. Sexuality is not the enemy, despite the hypocrites who try to stifle any healthy discussions on the matter. One of the main roadblocks to our progress as a society is that some people refuse to accept humanity in all its messy glory.) Some of my favorite bloggers write exquisite erotica, lush and hypnotic, and I will happily read any piece of good writing, regardless of plot or gender or poorly-chosen couture. If someone has a great finesse with words, it’s something to be respected. We’re losing that in this age of sound bites and acronyms and standardized testing that rewards conformity and negates creativity.

Bit preachy there. I just don’t understand those who refuse to understand that Point A to Point B is the only acceptable route.

Thirdly, the actual crux of this post: Wooden floors.

One of the main drivers for purchasing this house wherein I have dwelt for decades is that it had wooden floors, the old-school, build-it-to-last kind that can take a licking and still keep shining with that special glow that only solid oak and a good Minwax patina can provide. When I first toured the home, I wasn’t sure if wood floors were in the offering, as everything was swathed in a hideous lime-green shag-carpet layer of outrage. (Further proof that questionable style decisions were constantly being made in the 70s.) My realtor, eager for his commission, sent the owner and opposing realtor off on some dubious mission, dragged me into one of the bedrooms, slid open one of the closet doors, and then proceeded to pull up a corner of the carpet.

Yep, wood floors. I trembled in lust.

Later, as the four of us sat around the kitchen table and the two realtors bickered with one another in bartering one-upmanship, the homeowner, a lovely woman who was at least in her own 70s, and possibly 80s, turned to me and asked: “Do you think you can love this house?”

I was touched by this, and I assured her that I would, and the deal was done, no matter the swordplay of the clueless realtors who were only invested in impressing each other. Sometimes you just know. And I did, as did she.

Ripping out the offensive carpet was an easy task, accomplished in only a few days. The second phase, however, was much more laborious. There were thousands of carpet staples embedded in the wood from one end of the house to the other, proving that the lime-green abhorrence was just one of many atrocities over the life-span of the house. I spent most of a year, working late at night after working all day at Verizon, plucking out those staples with a pair of needle-nose pliers, many of whom refused to budge without extreme cursing and due diligence, hand-sanding away most (but not all) signs of the rude penetrations in the wood. Eventually, finally, there was a semblance of what once was, and I coated everything in that Minwax. The warmth of the amber glow, especially when accented by candlelight, satisfied me greatly, a sensation only understood by someone who promises to love a house and does whatever it takes to make it so.

But lately, my affections have been tempered. As anyone who lives upon old hardwoods knows, things settle over time, no matter how lovingly you fight against it, and now my beloved amber planks creak like the hounds of Hell.

It’s not so bad during the day, as my partner and I go about the many insignificant things people do in the daylight hours. Creaking and groaning are not so offensive when the sun is shining, especially since both of us have reached the chronological point when we creak and groan ourselves. It’s the darker hours when the beast is unleashed. I’m a night owl, and a retired one at that. My partner is still enmeshed in the corporate cogs, biding his time until certain pivotal numbers are achieved and he can tell the cog owners to blow it out their preferred orifice, which means he needs a good night’s sleep in order to deal with the madness.

And I try to respect that, I really do. As I quietly bang on my keyboard at the other end of the house from the bedroom (See? Respect.), crafting my little stories about nothing and everything and the clock ticks toward 3am, I do my best to not violate the sanctity of my partner’s slumber. But there’s a rub in the mix, and it essentially involves my aging bladder and the hand-sanded planks. Because I type for hours after Partner has nocturned for the night, and I often have an adult beverage or seven during such, I must go pee at least 47 times before I succumb to the beck and call of the mattress.

Both bathrooms in this dwelling are located at the other end of the house. I’m certainly not going to use the one off the master bedroom, as this would have me traipsing past Partner and accusations of sleep deprivation would ensue. So, I opt for the guest bathroom, somewhat removed from the boudoir but still in close proximity. And really, it’s not the location of the bathroom or what I might do in there that is the issue.

It’s the damn long-ass hallway leading to such, lined as it is with amber planks, that creates havoc.

As many of you who dwell in a habitat with older wooden floors know, you learn over time where the trouble spots are located when it comes to cacophonous belligerence. You avoid certain places, and you can generally motor about without too much aural truculence. But this clever strategy simply does not apply when I need to pee in the middle of the night.

I take one step into that hallway and, despite my careful foot ministrations, each of the planks responds with an overwhelming crack on par with a musket being fired in the trenches of France during the Napoleonic wars. By the time I make it to the bathroom, everyone in a 74-mile radius is sitting up in their beds, clutching a crucifix and praying for salvation. I just sit there on the toilet and tinkle in shame and degradation.

But despite all that, the wood floors still look fabulous, especially in candlelight, and I kept a promise to love a house.

Cheers.

 

Previously published, slight changes made.

 

34 replies »

  1. Isn’t there graphite or something similar to drop down between the offending boards and quieten the long dark trek to the room of release? Don’t change the loading up of the bladder though, some traditions, like floors, need preserving. I’m thinking a pair of ear plugs in a fancy presentation box to partner may help? It can’t hurt.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of preventative measures that can be taken, but that requires foresight and planning and manual labor and… yep, I’ve already lost interest. As for the ear plug angle, if truth be told, Partner can generally sleep through anything. The shame and angst is mostly self-inflicted…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love wood floors but yes, the creaking can be bad, especially when you are trying to hotfoot it to the bathroom (the older I get, the more I’m wearing a trail at night, so I get that part too). M is retired (and also a night owl) and I’m not, so that mismatch adds a lot of suspense to the creaking that sounds like the door on Dracula’s crypt. I don’t know the answer to the creaky floor – ear plugs? The other option is a chamber pot. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Remember our youthful days wherein we had bladders of steel and we could go three days without tinkling, should it be necessary? Now, when I need to pee, I NEED to PEE. You better get out of my way or somebody’s gonna get hurt.

      I almost revised the post to include the chamber pot angle, as that suggestion was very popular the last time I shared this. But I should mention that I’m also not a very coordinated person. I fear that me being in charge of a sloshy vessel would not end well…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When we moved into the old victorian in Champaign Illinois, every floor was covered with thick 70s-shag in the usual assortment of 70s-nightmare colors. The former owners told us there were wood floors underneath, except for the two-story addition at the back. So we pulled up all the carpets except for the addition, pulled out about a million staples that haunted my nightmares for years after, and told ourselves the century’s worth of insults to the wide-plank pine floors added ‘character’. Then, following a disastrous year’s sabbatical (renters left the bathtub to overflow for so long the bathroom in the addition fell through the ceiling to adorn the family room below), we decided to have wood floors installed. The day the floor guys came to remove the old carpeting from the floorboards, I heard them yelling for me to come. For seven years we’d been living with mud colored shag covering the most gorgeous, pristine maple wood floors, upstairs and down. But, of course, without the shag-insult layer, every single one of those boards creaked like a cannon when anyone walked on it. Worth it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s always worth it when one tries to restore what once was, despite the increased creaking, at least when it comes to houses.

      Somewhere in the archives I have a few scribbled tales of the time I lived in a fourplex apartment building built in 1917. There was so much history in every room, with ancient layers of paint and decades of wallpaper and faded, fabulous, detailed ornamentation. I always found myself in a mild time-slip whenever I was in that apartment, with past and present melding. Old voices whispered, gently, soothing and not alarming, and I listened. I suppose that sounds a bit odd to someone who isn’t attuned to such things, but I sense that you know exactly what I mean…

      Like

  4. I’m with Ms. Maggie, although the chamber pot requires emptying (at some point) and the hall ‘creep’ (not you, the walking..endless WALKING and creaking, cracking and popping – if from your bones or the boards isn’t relevant). Hubby, a long distance truck driver for much of his adult life, did something that male truckers through the ages have done…he got the extra large plastic bottle.

    Nature endowed men with a nifty little spigot from which allegedly golden drops of wee spring forth. Men can fairly safely pee in a bottle (or you can buy a plastic urinal from any local medical equipment store). Insert spigot in opening and let fly. If this scenario nauseates you a bit, spread some handy newspaper or other disposable or washable something on the floor beneath where you plan to go potty.

    Voila! Problem solved, your partner can saw logs in peaceful slumber, you don’t have to go trotting to and fro to relieve the aging bladder, and all is quiet once again at Bonnywood.

    And yeah, I do envy you. Many times I’ve wished for a spigot (no I ain’t got ENVY…that’d be silly) when the call of nature got urgent. Women need a %$@#% bucket and some privacy….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, since we’ve gotten into the eye-opening details of recycling, I’ll share a few things. Something tells me you won’t mind a bit.

      First, I’m a double-streamer. Not always, but often. Which means that I have relatively little control over the direction of things, so to speak. Things just go where they go. (This is why I generally sit down whilst tinkling when an actual toilet is concerned. Urinals are much more capable of controlling multi-directional sprinkling.) That being the case, I’d have something of an issue when it comes to bottle usage. That’s a difficult target for me.

      Second, did I ever share with you the tale of a certain woman I knew back in the day who could pee with incredible precision? She “trained” herself to be able to use a urinal. How I know this is not important (drinking was involved, let’s leave it at that), but I can certainly testify about her artistry…

      Like

      • I am in awe of the lady mentioned. I’ve often longed for such precision, but never achieved it and now never will. My sympathies with the ‘sprinkler’ effect, I got that kinda problem too (since we’re sharing) and cringe at using a public or even a relative’s toilet for fear of spillage on the surrounding floor. Another reason it sucks getting ‘old'(er)….

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I can’t remember if I posted anything about our hardwood floors… if I did, sorry for the repeat. But yeah, what the hell with the staples? I swear, someone got a staple for Christmas and went nuts. they were like every 1/4 inch. It was madness! Yet the floor is lovely and I don’t regret a thing.
    As for the creaking, Husband is a heavy sleeper. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • The degree of staple carnage in this house was insane. (Granted, some staples were older than others, indicating decades of wood-floor defilement.) I’m not exaggerating about the year it took to rectify the situation (coinciding with other projects, of course), and I didn’t get all of them. (I still snag my socks from time to time.) But it was all completely worth it…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t get my response in fast enough. I was going to suggest a chamber pot. There are girl ones and there are boy ones. If your aim is true, you might be able to hit the girl one, but I find that most of you boys couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn when it comes to aiming certain streams from certain body parts.
    I grew up using them. Then…it was walking the quarter of a mile through weeds taller than I was to dump them in the outhouse hole. I remember emptying my grandparents’ one. Gag me with a spoon!
    I actually have a couple of boy ones if you would like to borrow. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I remember the last time I shared this, you brought up the chamber pot option and suddenly everybody in the comments was weighing in with their thoughts and experiences concerning the matter. It was a hoot of a time and I learned a lot, probably much more than I ever needed to know.

      And while I deeply appreciate your offer of a spare boy pot, I’m afraid I must respectfully decline. The very first thing I would probably do is break it, as I’m clumsy as hell, and I couldn’t live with myself if I did that.

      Oh, wait there’s somebody here who wants to talk to you…

      Dear Miss Laurel,

      Ignore my daddy and send the pot anyway. If I have to go in a box then he can too.

      Thanks so much,
      Cleo the Cat

      Liked by 3 people

      • Cleo is in luck! One of my boy pots is metal! It even has this cute little finger handle on the top. It’s a bit rusty, but hey…it’s better than a Pepsi bottle or a litter box.
        AND…they have those plastic ones that you get in the hospital…or in an ambulance.
        Many a time, I’ve had to guide some poor old man’s hooter into that flask, just to have him dry up. Sigh. LOLOL

        Liked by 2 people

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