Okay, so here’s another writing about what it’s like to be trying to start a business that will make me happy. The saga continues. Still. Painfully still.
Right. So I ended up going back to school to take plumbing/piping. All the while we kept up with Crock of Shirt. We are still keeping it alive. I fucking will not let the universe win so easily. I’m going to go down fighting for a chance to do what I feel is right. If you don’t try, you won’t win. Back to the point – I’m now done school (for now) and find myself pipefitting out of town. This is an entirely new environment for me. I’m a quiet, creative, sensitive artist-type. But I can grow facial hair and swear, so I might be able to fool the construction crowd for a while…
As I write this, I am alone in a fifth wheel trailer 600km from home (which is alarmed to the nuts and next door to a cop, so don’t get any ideas while I’m away, assholes). This is far from ideal. This is not what I had planned. But this is what my family needs for now, as far as finances go. After my day working, I come to the campground and try to keep with my regular routine. I brought dumbbells, so I do little workouts or go for a run. I also have a laptop with me, so I write (as I am doing now) and illustrate on a free SVG program I downloaded. My sketchbook is always near me, as well. It’s not home, but it’s the best I can manage. Once again, I will not let this alternate life win. I’ll get along with it, but it won’t have the final say.
Below: Kurt the artist (?) pretending to be a pipefitter, wishing he was drawing.
For your entertainment, I thought I’d explain to you how an artistic type fumbles through the day at a construction site. Picture it: I’m like 5′ 8″ (?) and 155lbs of lean on a fat day. Pipe wrenches in each hand, hardhat, safety vest, hands covered in grease. Can you believe it? And all I think about all day is how I would rather be drawing or drafting or something. But no. This is how it plays out for delicate me:
(Driving a scissor lift with my 54 year old work partner)
Partner: Back up.
Kurt the donkey: I raise the lift. Up. Back to where we were.
Partner: No! Back up! Back. Up. Not up.
Kurt the confused: I did. I am. No?
Partner: Go down. Then backup. Reverse!
Kurt the deflated: Oh. Shitty me. K. (beep… beep… beep… beep)
(Up the scissor lift installing pipes)
Partner: What’s the distance between the tubes?
Kurt takes a guess: The tubes? Uhh, those ones? (Pointing at the pipes we just installed)
Partner: No! These! These tubes! (Points at the steel flooring tubes that I would likely refer to as joists or beams)
Kurt fucked up again: Oh. Fuck. Right. K.
(Preparing for something, as I recall)
Partner: Do you have your tape?
Kurt stabs the dark again: I pull out my pipe thread sealant tape.
Partner: No! Your tape measure!
Kurt deflated again: Well, you said tape! I had a 50/50 on which tape, right? Right?
(Measuring distance for a pipe to be installed)
Partner: Here, put the end of the tape on that.
Kurt the clueless: Where? Here?
Partner: No! No! The fitting! Where do you think I mean?
Kurt just wasn’t sure: Oh shit… wasn’t sure if you meant…
Partner: The fitting, of course! Fuck.
Kurt is flattened: Fuck.
So yeah, there it is. My partner isn’t a bad guy, but he sometimes gets frustrated. And I’m not a total idiot. I just haven’t perfected the technique of reading his fucking mind just yet. It seems to be a common theme in construction. You have to be able to read blueprints and read minds. And when you screw little things up and feel like a donkey, you have to just bite your tongue and take the whipping, all the while wishing a crane would drop a beam on your life because you’re at the opposite end of what you want.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed today’s instalment of pipefitting graphic design artistry with a side of shirts.