Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One-Winged Angels

So, yes, angels appeared to help with home maintenance and in just about every case there was a glitch.

Before I left for Bisbee, Manuel said he would paint the rafters with a kerosene mixture to get rid of the termites. "Do not get paint on the picnic table," I said, "because it is not mine; it belongs to Roberto." "No problem, madre," he said. "I will be careful."

There is no kerosene paint on the picnic table. However, it is everywhere else: the backs of the white plastic tecate chairs, the walls, and the sides of my trailer. Fuck. Kerosene splotches and streaks all over the aluminum. Fortunately I was able to wash it off. I'd been meaning to repaint the porch walls so now I have an excuse to do so.

It's been weeks and containers of the kerosene mixture, tarps, buckets still sit behind my trailer.

Gordo did a beautiful job replacing the OPD valve on my propane tank. Someone who shall not be named (in case we become Facebook friends) offered to do the other. We discussed which direction the valve should be facing. Then he took off with the tank and didn't return for four days. I figured he had a problem getting the old valve off. As long as he didn't destroy the aluminum Worthington tank in the process, I didn't care how long he had it. Two nights ago he returned the tank and the valve was on backwards. It is still usable - the hose attachment will fit through the smaller backside opening - but IT IS BACKWARDS. I was most disappointed with his attitude, like, hey, it still works so what's the big deal? Had he done it for the gringo (emphasis on the "o") he's working for, he would've done it right. So now I have to wait until the tank is empty to take it to Gordo and have the valve put on correctly. It's an AIRSTREAM, for God's sake; it can't have a propane cylinder facing the wrong direction!

I love being able to walk into my newly organized bodega. But El Vikingo took two of my books - books I wanted to keep. One was on the wines of Italy and the other was on the flora and fauna of the desert southwest. (That perfectly illustrates my two lives. My old life - an interest in fine Italian wines now so out of reach - and my new - an interest in the creatures and plants in this still-new-to-me desert life). I'm not sure how this confusion came about. They were in a crate with other books to be thrown out like out-of-date Woodall's campground guides. Apparently El Vikingo thought these were trash too. When he walked to his car, I didn't know how to tell him I wanted to keep them. My bad. I really should learn Spanish.

Bug carcasses are showing up all over the place thanks to Victor the exterminator. However, there is one bug he missed - the one living in my freezer! I was totally freaked out - and confused - when I saw mouse turds on my ice-cube trays. How in the hell could a mouse get in - and live - in my freezer? Then Flo mentioned that palmetto bug turds are nearly as big as mouse turds and that made sense, that a cockroach could flatten itself to get into any space. And we all know those suckers can survive anything, even frozen temperatures. I guess I feel better that those turds belong to a cockroach and not a mouse but still....

One of the things I've learned living in Mexico is that everything is fixable - glueable, paintable, tapeable, wireable. The only thing I'm worried about is that pinche palmetto bug taking up residence in my freezer.

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