10 November 2011

Rudian Days Gone By

            My, but how the days have flown!  October gone and nearly halfway into November at the blink of an eye, I come back and see my last entry was nearly a month ago.  Cliché as it sounds, I've been tied down traversing the ropes of my new job.  A far cry from fixing sandwiches, I inspect folks’ homes for water damage, jot it all down into a file folder for insurance purposes, then harvest up the unsalvageable remnants of hearth and comfort with a keen brutality.
            An interesting line of work though, a steady 8-5 (or 8-17 by the Rudian reckoning) M-F sort of gig with overtime and benefits.  My first ‘real’ job, one might be inclined to say, two steps shy of a 401k account and family to stabilize my days into a steady trickle toward antiquity.  Up before dawn, cup o’ tea, commute thither, morning meeting, endless coffee, world’s-your-oyster service calls and the accompanying paperwork, clock off, back, and retire – a dizzying array of routine that is both comfortable to fit into yet unfamiliar to me in its rigidity.
            Steady and good, but already I’ve found myself cast into previously unimaginably detestable tasks – navigating the Portland highway system in a bulky yellow crate with a shitey-at-best GPS navigator to gods-know-where, crawling about on my back in the dank darkened crawlspaces pulling abrasive fiberglass insulation, gutting the charred remnants of a lethal apartment fire (unenthusiastically wondering the while where it was the unfortunate gal’d died), stepping on nails and picking up innumerable splinters and bruises on the way.  A knockabout fashion to experience the Portlandia, say.
            But what an experience!  A month and I’ve already seen most every corner of Portland and its surrounding burbs and near-off neighbors.  Posh mansions of West Linn and decomposing tenements off North Killingsworth, tax-dodge Washington communities across the river, countryside burb-ettes, and all the forests and hills and mountains in between.  A glorious state, this, and such a happening little corner of it I happen to currently find myself in.
            So my, how the days have flown this crazy month.  Not much of anything by way of writing in the meantime, but lots of little notes here and there, lots of time to think and mull and ponder et al.  About houses, mostly; the American Living Space.  I’ve worked most every variety of dwelling our society has to offer, and in all – from mansion to studio – they’re all built of the same cheap shit.  Pine beams and papered gypsum walls, staples and particle board and plastic odds and ends; less homes than cardboard cut-outs of an ideal, a grand keeping of appearances.  Wastefully without any hope of lasting a hundred years, if even twenty.
            Like everything else housing is simply another commodity, a thing to pick up, use or patch up, then shell off for a profit at some future date.  Or if it’s an apartment the aim is to pack as many people in as possible, charge the living hell out of them with as little maintenance as necessary, and find every which way to cling on to their deposits with cyclical regularity until the structures eventually cave in on themselves or the HUD buys them out.  With such a crassly impermanent mindset driving the market there’s really little wonder the ‘housing bubble’ ever happened, or the real estate crash, or any other geo-financial tragedy that has befallen us.
But I dunno.  Days flown by, this boyo needs to fit a bit of writ into the malaisey mix.  More to come, eh?