07 September 2006
Further down the spiral
This morning I tried to write about our trip yesterday to Paris, to tell you all how proud I was of our children and how well they coped with an eight-and-a-half hour car trip, overcrowded and not-at-all air-conditioned public transport, and the crowds of people packed into the streets of Paris. I wanted to write about how I still hate the City of Lights, how driving on the Francilienne and inner-loop turns my hands into white plaster casts of themselves from gripping the door handle too tight, and how the pollution makes the sky turn the not-quite-gray color that we used to use for Vampire make-up. I wanted to tell you all about the guy at the consulate who has a very nice voice, the two (can you believe it—two!) people who offered to help us carry our brood up the stairs of the Metro, and the chick who offered me her seat so I could sit down with Muppet. I was even going to mention the continuing saga of the Welshman (who has, in fact, fled the camp after even more problems). Events, however, have conspired against me and I wasn’t able to get the words out of my head and onto the screen before the next downhill adventure started.

This morning the “expert” came to see our house. Our builder and the contractors were supposed to be there, but as one has filed bankruptcy and the other was on vacation and didn’t receive the certified letter telling him of this meeting, we were stuck there alone. With the expert, that is. I was honestly expecting the worst—that we’d have to raze the building and start again. We’re not insured for that. Our builder apparently never had any insurance of any type, so he’s not insured for that. And the contractor? Who knows? We’re really concerned most with the water coming in through the walls from the balcony whenever it rains. Once it freezes here it could cause the walls to crack and, well, there’d be no more reason to worry about razing the house because it’d just fall down on its own accord.

Oddly enough our expert didn’t seem too concerned about that. Like the builder, he’s of the opinion that the prefabricated cement blocks that make up our floor should be finished off with a type of screed—one, in the case of the balcony, that prevents the water from coming through. For him, it’s a small detail. Huh? Yeah. Keep reading, it gets better.

I think I’ve said it before, but every time we go up the hill we find something else in that place that just IS NOT RIGHT. Today’s big surprises were:

Finding that the ceiling in what should be our bedroom is starting to fall down. FALL. DOWN. It’s all covered in mold too, and we have no idea where the moisture causing that is coming from. And

Finding out that the entire network of beams holding the roof on our house is made in such a way that the expert thinks the ENTIRE ROOF MIGHT CAVE IN as soon as the snow starts falling. Dude, we didn’t even think there was anything wrong with the roof—well, other than those three leaks that come in around two of the windows. We surely didn’t think the fucker might cave in on us.

I’m a bit freaked out at the moment. A few days ago Marc and I were thinking of just tossing in the towel and doing whatever needed doing ourselves so we could move. But if we move, my kids’ rooms with be right under the ROOF OF DEATH. So no, I don’t think that is still an option.

Mr. Expert wants to give the contractor a chance to do what needs to be done. Honestly, we’re kind of OK with that. I mean, he didn’t get notice of the meeting today (granted it’s because he was off on vacation spending our money). Fair is fair, and if the guy can get his crap together and do what needs to be done, well, we’re down with that. But if he chooses not to, or misses the next meeting, or screws up one tiny little thing as he’s redoing things, then we go to court.

Of course, this all means we won’t be moving in the near future. In a best case scenario, we’re looking at the end of December. That means that the contractor admits his faults and tries to fix them. If not, well, it’ll take another year or so. Another YEAR. Or so. So it could be more.

To say I’m in a funk is putting things lightly. That third baby—it ain’t happening . We don’t have space for the two we’ve got. There’s no way I can get down to any serious writing as I’ve got my PC stuck on top of the ottoman which is shoved into the corner and blocked by the couch. The endless delays have eaten up what was left of our budget. We’re no longer going home. There’s no money left. I’m almost ready to rent out my uterus on eBay so we can eat this winter.

I really cannot deal with this anymore. The stress this house has caused is tearing Marc and I apart. Everything we argue about—from money to space to time—all of it is connected to the house. I think we can try to keep from killing those who caused the house problems, but I’m beginning to wonder if we can keep from killing each other.
posted by Doc at 14:33 | Permalink |