When I left the office to find a moment of peace, I covered the computer and printers with a bed sheet. The noise reminded me of combat but worse, because I was nineteen and then twenty when I was in Vietnam—noise did not bother me as it does now.
Concrete dust floated through the air and my sinuses and lungs rebelled, so I put on a 3M mask with two pink HEPA filters attached.
The last time I wore a mask like this was when I was teaching.
I searched the garage and found a noise suppresser to slip over my ears and it helped mute the pounding and drilling.
I looked like an explorer on Mars or a survivor of trench warfare struggling to write while the frigid air froze my fingers.
The crew had arrived to bolster the foundation against future earthquakes that might never arrive. Even if a hard tumbler did visit, I doubt that all that work would hold our sixty-year old hillside house together. It still might slide down the hill into the middle of the street blocking traffic.
Continued in Teaching or Writing with Pain, Pollution and People – Part 3 or return to Part 1
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