The plan was to build a 3 metre long oblong-shaped bench with six treated pine posts and a bit of mesh on top. Inside a greenhouse. A greenhouse that has an arched aircraft-hanger like roof.
Since I was the one with a fully-functioning spine I got to do the augeuring of holes. An augeur is a person-powered drill thing, this one making holes a foot in diametre.
In the cold of the morning the greenhouse’s heat and humidity were nice. Not long after that sweat was tap-dripping off the tip of my downward pointed nose. There was two 44 gallon drums in the corner filled with, as I was told, some kind of yeast that dissolved anything animal or vegetable that was put in it. A dead pig had dissappeared in one, I was told.
We continued working while the drums sat quietly in the corner, doing stuff.
One end of the oblong disturbed an ant’s nest. First there was crazy ants localised, then there were crazy ants everywhere. More sweating. I flicked away an ant from behind my ear. More sweating, then flicking another ant from the same place.
The poles were dropped in, with a ridiculous amont of space around them. You’ve got to throw the soil back in and tomp it, he said. Tomp it in there. You’re the tomper. Tell Centrelink you’re a qualified tomper. Stop saying tomp, I say. And think about if I could write a bit about the Thompson Twins and tomping.
Most of the holes hit down into the closest thing to potter’s clay you’d find outside of a potter’s pottery. One of the hole inexplicably filled with water.
“There’s two kinds of spurs my friend. Those who come in through the door and those who come in through the window.”
Two black dogs stood at the door, their eyes filled with curiousity but they wouldn’t come in.
It was decided that I needed to re-add some clay to one hole for the sake of levels. It was then decided I needed to take it back out again. I wiped sweat off a cheek and unknowingly create muddy-coloured war-stripes there.
It was becoming a structure Escher would’ve been proud of. One row of three posts were deemed level. Two posts at one end were level, but the last of those two and the next one weren’t. The posts that looked equal in height to the naked eye were devilishly bent according to the spirit-level.
When given the word I’d sledge-hammer the top of one of them until it was level with the others. It kept going around and around as the maximum height of the bench diminished.
Without really saying so, we gave up on it and went in for lunch.