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.
Previously published, slight changes made.
Categories: My Life