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Aaaaaand then the departure of the Monk

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.


  1. larryarnold
    larryarnold May 17, 2017 12:59 pm

    The good news, as I understand it, is that the injury occurred before the bedroom wall got ripped off.

  2. Claire
    Claire May 17, 2017 1:28 pm

    Yep, larryarnold. Much though I wanted to see that wall come down quickly, it’s probably a good thing it’s still there.

    It wouldn’t have been the worst thing having the wall down because I have a large supply of very heavy (10 mil) plastic left over from the first winter here when I had no good heat source and used the plastic to close off most of the house. I could have stapled that up and kept out the four-legged critters. But it wouldn’t have stopped any two-leggeds with bad intentions. Not that we have many of those around here, but you never know.

  3. Shel
    Shel May 17, 2017 2:11 pm

    Guys tend not to do “lite” very well. I’ve had a couple of Achilles’ tendon surgeries (they weren’t ruptured, they just needed help) and each time I made fortunately unsuccessful efforts to tear up the repair. It sounds like Monk simply needs reassurance not to overdo things, reassurance he surely and mercifully will get.

    It seems to me that this is a serendipitous event, for it apparently doesn’t matter much if the project is done now or in two months’ time, and you have been given a wonderful opportunity to concentrate on preparing for your iconic week ahead.

  4. R. L. Wurdack
    R. L. Wurdack May 17, 2017 2:43 pm

    Beware of winter. (Don’t let things slide too far.)

  5. Pat
    Pat May 17, 2017 2:57 pm

    Is he leaving that wound unstitched? Sounds like it needs to be sewn together (or at least held together with Steri-Strips).

    Sorry about the setback.

  6. Claire
    Claire May 17, 2017 3:27 pm

    Shel — Totally hear you on guys tending not to do “lite” very well. And although part of my wishes we could just get this project over with, another part says it’s fine and good as is. I certainly wouldn’t want this grubby nervous-making work to push right up to the class date or to cause the Monk any harm. I want him to take it as easy as he needs to to heal up properly.

    Pat — He has left it unstitched, which I agree makes me shudder. It’s a deep and serious wound and he’s taking it vastly less seriously than I would or most people would. But he is holding it closed with something and he’s keeping a very close eye on how it’s healing.

    And oh, R.L. Wurdack — Must we talk about winter just when the damn rain finally stopped for a while? But yeah … this needs to be done before fall. Preferably long before fall. I’d like to enjoy a good part of summer in the screen porch! And absolutely I don’t want winter rains coming down again on that bad foundation.

    But for the moment, it’s good.

  7. jed
    jed May 18, 2017 8:40 am

    Hey, snowing here. Wet spring snow. Pfft.

    In re. stitches: nope, not at this point. I don’t know what the interval is, but past a certain point, as I understand it, it’s better to leave it. I hope he doesn’t develop a serious infection. And in a precarious financial situation, I can completely understand how he’d want to avoid the medical expenses of going to the ER.

  8. Claire
    Claire May 18, 2017 10:35 am

    Snowing. OMG. Yeah, I remember a few May snows from my years in Minnesota and Wyoming. But ugh. I sure do not envy you. I think I’d start screaming if we got snow here after the season we just (I hope!) got over. That’s what you get for living at some ungodly elevation.

  9. MJR
    MJR May 18, 2017 6:07 pm

    Machetes can be a bit of a chore to use when they are not taken seriously. They tend to bounce off things when the impact point is not spot on. I found this out while camping when a guy a few spots over tried to cut some wood and it got real ugly. Fun fact, duck tape makes a great wound closer. Anyway… The Monk is lucky that he didn’t do more damage to his leg. I wouldn’t be too surprised if an x-ray showed the bone was chipped or had a hair line fracture from the impact. In the end it will heal and he will have the machete equivalent to the Heidelberg scar that will impress the girls when he wears shorts. .

  10. ellendra
    ellendra May 19, 2017 11:03 am

    Sounds like The Monk needs a bit of mothering.

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