“Hey, daaahlin,” someone said.
This was unusual. I looked around from my perch on my balcony, where I was drinking coffee and contemplating the eight gazillion things I had to do. Then I heard it again.
I looked down. There was a man in a truck. He was looking at and talking to me. This was weird. My apartment complex has a code that is something like the first rule of Fight Club, and that rule is this: You don’t speak with someone who is out on her balcony. The second rule? You DO NOT SPEAK with someone who is out on her balcony.
Truck guy didn’t know the rules.
“Um, yeah?” I said, thinking that in addition to not knowing the rules, Truck Guy also apparently didn’t realize that no one ever calls me “darling” – except, of course, that he wasn’t calling me darling exactly, what with his significant Maine accent. He was calling me “daaaahlin.” Like when my nana called me “deah” and which I also would prefer not to be called by a strange man in a truck.
“Is this yoah caah?”
He gestured to one of the vehicles belonging to the Stormtroopers. “No sir,” I said. “I park away from the building.” Because of the asshat who owns that piece of crap, I added silently.
“Weah going to work on the roof today, and weah gonna be tossin stuff off for a bit. Don’t want yoah caah to get messed up.”
“No worries!” I said.
Four hours later I was, in fact, a little worried. Because “Tossing stuff off for a bit” didn’t exactly describe what the roofers were doing. It was more like, ripping off the entire roof and sending it flying past my windows. My balcony where I had previously enjoyed my coffee was hip deep in debris. My cat, who initially thought the “stuff zooming through the air” game was fun became scared and was hiding in the bathroom.
The whole thing seemed a little excessive.
Adding to the fun of the noise and falling … roof stuff … was Truck Guy, who was apparently the foreman of the project. He spent his time on the ground, yelling up at the guys on the roof.
“Baaaawbaaaay!” pause. “Baaaaawbaaaay! Did I not TELL you to fill the coolah with watah?”
“Miiiiiikaaaaaay!... MIKAAAAAAAY! Watch weah youah droppin that stuff! These balconies are full o’craaaaap!”
I wanted not to mock him. But I couldn’t help it. I went into where the cat was hiding in the tub.
“Beaaaaaansaaaaay!” I said, softly. “Beaaaaansaaaaay! Didn’t I tell you that the roofah guys weah gonna drive us nuts? Didn’t I?”
She gave me a dirty look and turned to face the corner.
“Sorry,” I said.
I closed the windows and drew the blinds, trying to escape from the noise and chaos. Beansie stayed in the bathroom until the noise finally stopped.
I peeked outside. There was a giant yellow panel truck parked directly in front of my balcony, which had somehow been cleared of debris. It reflected the sunlight. I felt radioactive but I could now sit in my chairs, open the door, get some air. It was quiet.
Then I heard it.
Oh well, at least I got a new roof.