On the weekend we experienced a series of traumatic events.
It all started about 24 months ago for me when my wife started to talk about her dissatisfaction with our current kitchen, and how she wanted to start working on getting it renovated. Initially it started with her just looking down at the white tiled floor and shouting at the dirt that kept showing up on it.
More than once I would walk in and find her on all fours feverishly wiping down the floor with large damp rag, her brow knit and glistening with sweat from the heat of work and angst.
I recall one time sauntering through the kitchen in my slippers over the damp white glistening floor, walking a little lighter than normal to try and not stain her fresh effort to clean by somehow thinking that if my steps were gentler I could somehow float across the floor without soiling it.
She looked up at me as I innocently floated by, leaving a trace of brown oval spots on her perfect floor. I caught her gaze and it cut into me making me feel like there was ice water flowing over my naked back.
Her stare was sordid and filled with heavyhearted misery. I looked away as fast as I could and continued to float across the floor. I had risked traversing the glacial white tile with intent. I was going to let our dog in. It was a cold, wet, rainy day outside, and his Mexican roots gave him a delicate constitution in our unforgiving Canadian climate.
I reached the door and opened it; was met with a welcoming grin from our bouncy caramel coloured Chihuahua who shot up the stairs and proceeded to gallop laps around the kitchen painting mud paw prints in wide animated circles. He ended his prance face to face with an angry pit-bull with a wet towel and showered her growling face with zealous licks and kisses before realizing what he was doing.
To his great fortune I scooped him up on my way by and escaped with him under one arm upstairs into the refuge of my office as fast as possible without looking like we were fleeing the scene. I could hear the thunderous rumblings of anger echoing up the stairs as we picked up the pace to my office and closed the door.
It was at this instant I realized that I needed to succumb to the needs of my wife and indulge her desire to have a new kitchen. It was a task I was very much against. An unfounded almost crazy notion on my part, as to me, our kitchen was ideal. It cooked what it needed to. It kept things cold. It was a place to wash things and store our food. There was no need to reinvent this room as it was so recently upgraded. The problem was the upgrade we did was on a very strict budget and when you have a limited budget to renovate a kitchen you can compare it to trying to kill a rhino with a paperclip.
The bane of my wife’s existence was the white tile floor, but it had just become “the catalyst for change”. Soon we were tearing out counters, range hoods, cupboards, and baseboards. We were rewiring, retiling, and reinventing everything.
Boxes and cartons were showing up and wily contractors were being interviewed like potential nannies or caregivers. There were shipments from the other side of the country and I found myself contemplating the technologies of water management and quartz counter fabrication.
My initial intentions had been evolved and transformed into exactly what my wife needed – I had become her minion and her advocate. She had worked me into the exact model of what she wanted, like putty I had succumbed to her every whim and was like a doll in her hands.
The things we do for love.
24 months have passed and now I find myself laying on the bed upstairs with my wife on a Saturday midday. I awaken exhausted and ridden with anxiety. Our kitchen has been gutted and the main floor of our house has been turned into a plastic covered warehouse filled with shit I didn’t even know we had. The house is a certified war zone – it is in a state I swore it would never again be in after our first renovation that had taken six months.
I awaken from a deep sleep and see my wife beside me with her phone in her hand. Our dog Bruno has been shipped off to the in-laws for vacation and to keep him out of harm’s way while the renovation commences.
She looks at me wild-eyed and motions to me with her phone.
“I have something I want you to watch.”
She presents me with a video of myself. I see my wrinkled face with a porcine-like pallor mashed into a blue pillow. I look still, old, and somewhat dead until my body raises as I inhale, and then I release what sounds like the guttural roar of a large boar calling out to it’s mate. It mortifies me. It terrifies me. I have transformed into a wrinkled snivelling snoring old man. I can’t believe my eyes.
The video continues and I snore like a curb-side drunk. Charles Bukouski after a bender. It’s visceral and damaging. It’s alarming and humiliating. It’s one of those moments in your life when you see yourself as others may see you. You see yourself in a way you never expected. In a way you had hoped would never be you.
Imagine having every false perception of how amazing you are completely shattered in an instant. Needless to say it was a low point for me. Between this self-actualization, the trauma of the renovation, and the absence of Bruno, my biggest fan, there was nothing for me to hang onto. I felt like I was falling and there was no end to how deep I would go.
After a few more hours I pull myself together but still worry about how I am going to deal with the snoring. Intermittently throughout the last few months I had noticed that my wife was waking me during different times in the night due to the noise I was making calling out to the invisible pigs in the back yard with my snores. On one such occasion I awoke to her missing from my side and was horrified to find out she had to move to the sofa due to the mating calls of her 52 year old white haired boar.
“Between you and the dog keeping me awake I think we need to get a sofa bed.”
I blink a few times after reading this text and think about June and Ward Cleaver sleeping in separate single beds. I think it maybe better if she gets me some sort of pen she can keep me in in the basement. She can feed me slop and potato peels in a trough. The problem escalates when I drink. So now even the mere pleasure of having one or two beers can unsettle her and awaken the giant hog bellowing unconscious in the night.
The day after viewing the video our contractor had to be fired. After destroying about 500 dollars in maple hardwood by attempting to glue it down to our kitchen sub-floor I had to fire him. I spent the day tearing up and destroying brand new pristine maple hardwood. At points during its removal I would think about the snoring video and how I looked in it. The image is haunting me now as I write about it.
Currently our renovation is on hold and we are living in the disarray for another few weeks – it was quoted to us that the renovation would only take four days. I understand now that sure it might have, had we let our contractor just glue everything in place and use green frog tape to hold shit down. Luckily my brother in law is going to bail us out on the renovations and will start working on them in the following week.
Bruno has returned home and I am getting over the loss of our beloved contractor.
But the one thing that haunts me each and every night is the fact that when I go to sleep I will transform into the manifestation of a 200 lb. boar. One that gurgles and roars in the night while my dog kicks us in the back and flip-flops above and below the covers. I get the image of my wife sleeping in a barn with a bunch of farm animals around her.
This series of unfortunate events will hopefully end with a happy outcome. I am currently inhaling some sort of tropical concoction that is supposed to quell one from transforming into a bellowing pig, but I an unsure it works as of yet.
This morning I woke up thinking that I could get my wife some ear plugs. She already wears one of those bandit masks to bed so I figure jamming some wax plugs into her head should stop her from hearing me. This seems extreme. Next I will be telling her to get some sort of helmet or maybe an electric cattle prod she can keep at her bedside table. She can shock me or the dog if we continue to disturb her. Either that or I get my tongue removed, or get a ball gag for my mouth and we feed the dog some Ativan.