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.
SUGGESTED READSConversations While Canvassing For Bill Bradley in Small New Hampshire Towns
by David Gaffen (2/10/2000)
In Search of the Red Planet
by Paul Maliszewski (3/3/2000)
Conversations I’ve Had During A Normal Day In Los Angeles, Modified To Include The Shocking Depiction Of Racism Found In Paul Haggis’s 2005 Film Crash
by Brendon Lloyd (2/6/2006)
RECENTLYI May Have Missed That Report Deadline, But I Learned a Lot About Myself
by Josh Freedman (1/29/2015)
Not So Timeless After All: Tree, the Giving
by Ilana Masad (1/29/2015)
Teddy Wayne’s Unpopular Proverbs: Quantity
by Teddy Wayne (1/29/2015)
POPULARJamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan
by Paul William Davies (12/26/2012)
Reasons You Were Not Promoted That are Totally Unrelated to Gender
by Homa Mojtabai (1/27/2015)
Product Review: The Invisible Backpack of White Privilege from L.L. Bean
by Joyce Miller (12/31/2014)