The Wandering Monk wandered in about 9:30. Limping, but not quite as much as I’d expected. He showed me pictures: three-inch gash; bone gleaming in the depths, but very little bleeding thanks to him having the good sense to avoid major veins and arteries while chopping himself with a machete.
Good tool sharpening, too. The wound was as clean-edged as a paper cut. A very, very large papercut. But as straight as if drawn with a ruler.
He offered to show me the real, live injury (which he has bandaged under tension but not stitched). I declined.
Though he offered to get to work, it was obvious he couldn’t kneel, wriggle under the house, or even stand the slightest bump against that leg without agony. And you know bumps are going to be at least an hourly occurance.
The real reason he came here today, as he admitted, was so that I would say, “Go do something else until you’re more able. My project can wait.”
He didn’t want to be the one to say, “I can’t do it.” He wanted to tell me, “You’re still my top priority.” He wanted to say, “I’ll do what I can, even if it’s not much.” He was afraid of appearing to weasel out of work. Afraid of losing the project and the money he needs to live on.
With a bone-deep machete gash in his leg? That would be some weaseling.
He also wanted to bring me a kit of cool artists chalks he spotted at a thrift store. Those are going to be fun to play with.
So I sent him off to neighbor J’s house with a mug of coffee. She’s got a smaller, less impactful project he can handle. He and I agreed that we’d try again in a week or whenever he thinks he can handle heavy work. The conclusion is that most of the Great Foundation and Screen Porch Project will almost certainly be pushed back to late June or July. In May, we’ll aim for getting the back wall torn off, a new back wall built and covered with plywood, and the place secured against critters, both four-legged and two-legged before I leave for the icon-painting class next month. But for now … I’m back to painting dogs and the Monk’s biggest job is getting well.