Saying Goodbye to the Beast

012015I lived once in a rental–a tiny one-room house set on a hill under the trees–with a leaky roof. For years the landlord patched and repaired it and still I propped buckets and pots around the house when it rained and my plants all turned black on the mantel. Then one morning I woke to the sound of feet on the roof. Outside, a truck, and men marching back and forth across my yard, tossing roof tiles from above, carrying new tiles toward me. It was like the house erupted. I got dressed and went out to breakfast. My landlord ate at another table, as he often did. “Oh yeah,” he said, “I forgot to tell you.” By the time I got home the crews were gone, the roof replaced, the house made new.

It will be like that here after a couple of days. The HVAC unit we have battled with, that has been a living thing in the closet by our bedroom, grumbling and mumbling and rising to a roar, exchanged for something new and quiet and hidden in the attic. No more will we not hear each other when we call across the house. No more will we open the bedroom door in the night to a jet engine thundering in the hallway. So today we open the closet one more time and put our hands on the unit to say goodbye–to its noisiness, to the part we had to replace every couple of years on the most frigid days of winter, and to the many years it kept us warm, or cool, without our noticing.

January 20, 2015


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