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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mr. Fixit

I have spent the past two weeks fixing broken things, or having them fixed by experts.  My son’s MacBook needed the RAM replaced at the new Apple Store near Lincoln Center.  I fixed the blinds on our window that were about to crash down on our heads.  I called the A/C repair guys, who came to oil and clean out the air conditioners in our apartment, but I wasn’t very impressed with them: I had to make sure they did the job right, and often they were sloppy.

Our electronic Yamaha piano had four keys that wouldn’t pop up anymore, in part because our fat cat Ocistar jumps on the piano to launch himself out the front door whenever I go to the trash room on our floor.  I found an electronic piano wizard, courtesy of the Sam Ash Music Store, who repaired it beautifully.  I’ll permanently fix the cat-piano-problem with the thick cover I ordered for our Yamaha.

A reliable handyman in our building fixed the kids’ toilet, which didn’t flush properly anymore, and replaced our tub faucet, which during a shower gushed water onto my feet but precious little on my head.  Another handyman re-caulked both bathrooms.

I fixed the navigation system on our Honda Pilot, and repaired the filter and cleaned out the pump that produces a nice waterfall for a small fish pond in our house in Connecticut.  Two dead trees are decaying in our side yard; they need to come down.  When will it end?  I wish I could repair the state of Arizona, or pay someone to do it, but even some problems are too big for me.

There comes a point when too many things are broken.  I reached that point two weeks ago.  Everybody was complaining, but not doing anything about it, and so I grabbed my Fixit flag and charged into the first problem first, and then the next, and the next.  But it really never ends.  Today the mop broke.

Of course, I’ve been ‘repairing’ my novel all throughout this Fixit frenzy, which means I’ve been rewriting it.  That also never ends, until it does, and how you know when the writing is ‘finished’ is an epiphany of sorts, a sense of judgment that this, what you have on the page, is what you always meant to write.  Whether someone will publish it is, again, another matter.

But I still do have a sense of tired accomplishment, that several of the things I fixed, or got fixed, will stay fixed, at least for a while.  This state of ‘fixedness,’ so to speak, is but a brief moment in time.  Soon enough something else will fall apart and need repair.  I don’t live for that stasis, but for the struggle to reach it and for what I learn by fixing things.  It’s really philosophical, and all that crap, but I’m exhausted.  So maybe that’s the point of the state of ‘fixedness,’ to rest.  I sorely need it.

“Dad, something’s wrong with the printer!”  I have to go.

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