Friday, March 25, 2011

Fourteenth day of Lent: Nothing fancy

A thin layer of snow when I first go out. It’s a sunny day. The snow will be gone by noon. Not  trace of last night’s visitor. The steps are soaked with water from melting  snow and yesterday’s rains. 
I open the doors to wait for the plumber. Marty walks by, glances. Greets me with something between a salute and a wave. John from Mac Felder Plumbing arrives. He was in on the first failed attempts to get the boiler going again right after the burst pipe two years ago. He’s here to help us get hot water into  the bathrooms, boiler or no boiler. He checks out all the sinks. Tells me it’s pretty simple. Will make me a proposal. Says, confidentially, we need more restrooms. 
On the way out, he asks about the boiler. I tell him of the process of visits, evaluations, waiting for the bids. He grimaces a little. “Look,” he says,”the old one’s shot. You need a new one. But don’t let them talk you into something fancy. You don’t need it. A simple new cast iron boiler will do it. In  a week you can do it. That and the asbestos abatement. That’s all. Nothing fancy.” It’s not the boiler. But the hot water in the bathrooms is an important step along the way. 
I thank him. Close up the place. Later tonight, Hope and I and Uli will join the Saigon Grill workers. 

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