By A.J. Llewellyn
I hired a friend to restore a fallen-down closet two weeks ago and the results have been a close disaster. I am nowhere near getting this thing finished and I am in despair it will ever get done. My friends and loved ones keep asking, "Is it done?" and I am trying my best not to have a meltdown.
The problem is I've never spent so much money before and I know how many books I had to sell to save the money to do this project. Not that I had a choice, since the closet fell apart. The top shelf came down, the clothes pole fell...I just wanted those things fixed, then the closet doors came of their rungs. Mind you, they are forty years old (as old as me!) so they were bound to start falling apart (like me!).
I got a couple of estimates and I try not to think how much better those contractors might have been..especially the guy who came up with the idea of creating extra shelf space. I gave the work instead to a dear friend who needed the work.
Yep, my contractor is a close friend...or, at least I thought so. Now I feel taken advantage of. I feel like Murphy Brown with Eldin, the house painter who wouldn't go away. Except I suspect Eldin smelled a little better.
I think this has been a good lesson in something...not sure what. I know it's interfered with my productivity and probably ruined a 20-year friendship. Yeah, yeah, friends and money don't mix they say, but I happen to have great working relationships with friends who are my co-writers, etc.
They don't however, hang out in my bedroom taking ten years to add a few shelves and a pole to a closet. Nor do they spend mysterious amounts of time doing God-knows-what in the bathroom.
Actually, my dad reminded me on the phone last night of an old Australian movie called, The Plumber. Ivar Kants, a wonderful, underused Aussie actor plays a malevolent plumber who arrives to work on a woman's bathroom, then ruins her home. And her life.
"Be nice," my father warned.
I will...but my faith in this experience has started to be restored. I'm coming up with my own ideas for revenge. On paper that is. I can kill the guy and not get arrested for it. I can kill him...in a closet!!
How about you? Any of you had experiences bad enough you get revenge via fiction?