I laid wood.

I am so tired. And sore. And my ass hurts. And congested.

It’s a great Monday.

Damn…was I busy this weekend. And productive.

Last week, I had emailed Mikey to see if he had a circular saw I could borrow. And, by borrowing the saw, I explained that he had to come with it. This was all well and good because Mikey and his wife are poor. Like destitute. Like, shut off the cable and phones because they can’t afford it poor.

See, M&K moved here from NJ last fall. Mikey’s my brother’s best friend from their childhood days. They came here because neither of them had real jobs in NJ and wanted to try to start over. They lived with my parents for a while and nothing went well. Mikey kept saying that he was due some sort of settlement from a workplace injury and that once he had the money, all would be good. Well, he lied about the whole thing. Then, stupidly, they started listening to my mother. She convinced them to buy a house. At the time, K was making maybe $10/hour. So, they got a mortgage and bought a teeny house in a section of Raleigh that’s dodgier than where we live. Mikey found a job as a foreman with a landscaping company and things looked OK for a while.

Then he quit because…well, no one knows why. Then, a few months later, the police came to my parents’ house looking for him. Well, maybe he had never turned in his company credit card and maybe was using it to pay for groceries.

Mikey is arrested and goes to jail. K flips out and my parents, the enablers of all this, put up a wall. JewelrySlut is stuck fielding phone calls from K to rant about everything. Mikey gets out of jail. He fails to appear. He goes back to jail. The cycle begins anew.

So, he’s out now and on probation. He’s maybe working from home grading homework assignments on line. I have no clue. They have a house and can’t afford food. K drives her NJ-registered SUV that costs her over $00 per month in lease payments a good ways to work each day. She works at The Fresh Market.

So, when I told Mikey to bring the saw, the plan was to feed him lunch and feed both of them dinner. We’d pay him some $$ for the day’s work. It was a strict violation of the Guy Code, but we’d do it. Normally, the going rate for helping build a deck would be lunch, dinner and a case of beer. We tossed $200 at him. I told him that it covered not having to buy a saw (at $200 that’s one fucking expensive circular saw).

So, he got to the house at 8:00 on Saturday and we started surveying the area. We went to Lowe’s and came back with 31 2X6 boards and an 8 foot section of 4×4. By 10:00, we were working.

It took over 3 hours just to get the posts measured and cut. Mind you, these posts were, at time, as small as 1 1/2″. A lot of measuring and cutting was done. When we broke for lunch, we were ready to make progress.

By 5:00 when Mikey went to go pick up K, we had only 9 boards to go. The joists were in place, all the end boards were in place and we had 2/3 of a deck. We wrapped up at about 6:00.

We have a deck in the backyard. It’s awesome. It’s got over 300 screws holding it together so this bitch ain’t moving. I’m quite proud of us. The yard’s going to look very nice in a few weeks when we’re done with it. I’d post pictures, but it’s been pouring for 2 days now and the yard is a muddy mess. It makes the deck look ugly. I want my deck to be pretty when I take its picture.

When K got to the house, she was all keyed up. It was Mother’s Day Saturday and she runs the floral department. Apparently, she was very busy and her clientele was very stupid. JewelrySlut gave her vodka to settle her nerves. JewelrySlut forgot that A: K’s a lightweight, 2: they can’t afford to drink, and C: She had not eaten all day.

K got really drunk.

JewelrySlut had made a vat of potato salad and a huge tomato salad. I grilled up 3-4lbs of sausage and a big slab of London broil. It was a sight to watch the 2 of them eat. They devoured most of the beef on their own and made sizeable dents in all the rest of the food. We sent them home with all of the leftovers. We hope we kept them fed for at least 2 more days.

I guess I feel bad for them; but mostly for K. Mikey is probably the smartest person I know. He’s probably borderline genius. And, that’s his problem. He’s one of 7 siblings and his parents are insane. His mother is ludicrously Catholic and believes that saying a Rosary will cure everything. She also hates K because she’s not a practicing Catholic. So, he grew up not getting enough attention. And when someone that smart doesn’t get enough attention, they start scheming. I’m sure that if I were to ask, he could give me detailed plans on how to rob a bank…or launder money, or deal drugs. It took him like 7 years to get through college mostly because he didn’t care. He’s very talented and a hard worker when it comes to landscaping and construction, but he doesn’t care and isn’t motivated. So, he keeps making up lies about how he can fix their financial situation, and sits at home doing nothing. Getting out for a day and building something was good for him. I said that he could probably sell decks to half the neighborhood if he wanted. He looked interested for about 3 seconds.

Their biggest problem was that they listened to my mother. My brother and I have discussed this and M&K are the latest crutch she needs. My mother needs to control someone, and my brother and I told her to fuck off long ago. So, she’s got them now. My recurring, and unhelpful, line is “Why did they buy that house?” They had no business buying a house. I can remember what it was like to be recently married. I wanted a house. But, we waited it out for a while in a crappy apartment until we found something we could afford. Instead of doing the same, they got themselves an interest-only mortgage on a house that’s barely big enough for the 2 of them. They’re screwed. For ever.

But, we now have a deck. I need to dig in a drain and put in the sod. When it’s all done, we’re going to have a little oasis in our yard. It may only be 20 feet wide and 11 feet deep, but it’s going to be awesome. After that’s done, we’ll re-focus on the kitchen and get the cabinets hung.

Hopefully, I won’t lose my job during all of this and we can keep improving the house. Yea…work is great. I don’t even want to talk about it, but I’m most certainly cranky. Cranky with RedCompany, with my boss, with HealthCareRelatedCompany and with everything.

Otherwise, we had a quiet and rainy Mother’s Day. Shmuppie bought JewelrySlut a new bromeliad and a nice orchid. I built a deck and supplied unsatisfying sex. I also cooked up an awesome penne with vodka sauce and some very tasty salmon.

I’d just be happy if the weather improved. It has not been very warm yet and our drought is most certainly over at this point.

In my next installment, I’ll talk about my annual Homeowner’s Association meeting. It should be fun.

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