Sunday, January 1, 2012

The sixth day of Christmas: Heat at last, heat at last, thank God almighty, heat at last...

Another day of racing against the clock. Has Chris deliverd his letter to the DOB? Yes, at 10:30. All right then, has DOB contacted Con Ed? OK, Gale’s on that one. By 2:30, still no word. The hour is getting late. I reach out to Ted who reaches out to his friend at Con Ed. Gale calls, Con Ed will be there by 3:30. 
At 3:30, Chris the plumber and his crew are there. Jane and Tia have arrived. Gale is there. But no Con Ed. It’s beginning to feel  like a local theatre production of Waiting for Godot. We decide to have a pool. Jane says 4:45, I say 4:32. And at 4:30, they arrive.
But it’s not easy. I go back to my office to find Ji Young and Miranda. Miranda is playing the wooden toy piano a young couple from the neighbrhood donated. Complications to be dealt with.  And Jason has issues to discuss. And Dan is popping in and out. And a full crew is intently engaged in the basement.  

And Joseph from England and Fabiana from Mexico have come to talk about getting married.  They bth live in Mexico City now. They're coming ti New York ot get married, midway between England and Mexico. 
Gale has to leave. We go down to check things out, watching closely. At one point, the technician looks up. You guys are literally freaking me out, he says. And I remember the sign at out garage back in Pittsburgh, Labor is $25 an hour, $50 if you help.
 So Jane and Tia and I leave and retreat to the warmth of her office. There’s a boom from below and we rush downstaors ecxpecting  the worst, but all is well. Like a car engine coming on and old pipes breathing again. The Polish plumbers are taking off. We had a good chat about New Year’s kielbasa and pierogies. And soon enough, Jane has to leave. I walk her down the street  to where she’s meeting Katherine for dinner. 
When I get back, Jason greets me at the door. It’s on, he says.At approximately 7:30 PM, December 30th, the heat was back on for the first time in nearly three years.  And I walk in, Tia is smiing, the pipes in office are getting warm. We exchange a high five. Chris the plumber needs to check every radiator. He smiles at the antique one in my office. I collect those he says, but that one  is really rare. 
In the front of the sanctuary he stops and says, The acoustics in here are great. You could do like concerts here, like small operas, like... I tell him, that’s the idea. And we do...
We walk around. There’s a lot of work still to be done. Will have to happen next week. But the pipes are warming up. I’m trying to take in the heat. Trying to take in that it is finally, finally on.  

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