An Imagined Conversation Between the Construction Workers Upstairs From Me.
BY BEN JURNEY
[Originally published June 17, 2013.]
WORKER: It’s 6:37 AM, let’s begin hammering.
SECOND WORKER: Are we nailing anything in today?
WORKER: No, we’re just striking the bare, wooden floor with our hammers.
SECOND WORKER: I’ll turn on the handsaw as well.
WORKER: Great. Let it run by itself against that wall.
SECOND WORKER: How hard are we hammering today?
WORKER: Boss wants us to alternate between hammering with great force and exceptionally great force. We take breaks when the man living downstairs leaves the building.
THIRD WORKER: Someone paged me about needing help?
WORKER: Yes, it is 6:38 AM and we need help.
THIRD WORKER: Don’t worry, my workers are currently charging up the stairs as if there were a fire. Each one is from the most unbearable part of Staten Island.
SECOND WORKER: Your men all have gigantism?
THIRD WORKER: And chronic vertigo.
WORKER: We will need help deadlifting these oil drums filled with marbles.
THIRD WORKER: Where should they go?
WORKER: You can drop them right over everywhere.
THIRD WORKER: That should take six weeks.
SECOND WORKER: Great.
WORKER: Do you know the man that lives downstairs?
THIRD WORKER: I have seen him. Was he born prematurely?
WORKER: God, I hope so. There’s no other way to justify his physique.
SECOND WORKER: He must have excelled in his early years and then plateaued dramatically once he reached puberty.
THIRD WORKER: He’ll never achieve our natural, rugged sex appeal.
SECOND WORKER: A trait expected of the American heterosexual man.
THIRD WORKER: I wonder if that haunts him.
WORKER: Isn’t he a writer?
SECOND WORKER: Jesus. Oh, of course he is.
THIRD WORKER: You know what? I think I hate him.
SECOND WORKER: Yes, me too.
WORKER: Me three.
THIRD WORKER: Let’s hammer forever.
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