A New Hardwood Floor

I grabbed one side of the blanket as Garrett, my friend who decided to visit for the weekend, grabbed the other. Our plan was simple, pick up the blanket that was a holding place for three one-gallon cans of paint, paintbrushes, light bulb covers, and several random screws. I just wanted to remove the obstruction from the hallway in order to have a clear pathway from my bedroom to the kitchen and living room. However, not all went as planned. Upon moving the blanket, I noticed about a three-foot wide puddle of white paint settling into the floor. I quickly flipped the blanket off the various items (the blanket was fully covering its contents) to notice one of the paint cans had been turned over. The lid was cracked just enough for paint to leak out onto the blanket. It may have been turned over for days.

I wonder how paint soaked through the blanket onto the floor. It seems to me that the paint would have caked up on the blanket. I suppose it is just like water; water would seep through it. Yet, I can’t get past this strange phenomenon. The blanket was set underneath the paint to ensure that no paint could find its way to the floor. The blanket was very thick, as was the paint. Paint is definitely thicker than water, almost like a solid. Yet, here I have paint (on the verge of becoming a solid) making its way through a blanket (a definite solid). Why this is possible is beyond me. There’s no point in putting a blanket beneath a can of paint if it’s not going to keep the paint off of the floor.

I cannot figure out why the paint can had been knocked over in the first place either. I certainly couldn’t have knocked it over when walking by. I probably would have noticed a thump or the can touching my foot, unless I’ve recently taken to sleepwalking. I suppose one of my two cats may have committed the act. They do like to scramble wildly down the hallway and bounce off things, like paint cans. However, the can of paint probably weighs more than either one of them. I don’t see them as having enough physical capacity to turn a can of paint over. Therefore, I am left to believe that my house may be afflicted with a poltergeist, one who is manifesting itself in order to knock over paint cans and throw my home into disorder. Yes, I would rather believe that a preternatural entity turned over the paint can as opposed to a human or feline. Although the thought of a poltergeist may be frightening, it also gives me a bit of assurance, in which I know that I have figured out how the paint spilt onto the floor and that it was not any fault of mine. I can be held accountable for myself and the cats, but not a supernatural presence.

After finding the overturned can, all I could think about was how ticked-off my roommate would be when he saw the destruction of the newly laid hardwood planks of the floor. He must have put a lot of work into it. Garrett and I quickly found a roll of paper towels and cleaning solution to wipe up the puddle. The paint had not dried yet since it hadn’t spread out. Not long after (considering half an hour isn’t long), we had completely returned the planks to their original shine, except for possibly a few white specks that made their way into the cracks. Nevertheless, they looked like new. I escaped an angered roommate and the reconstruction of a floor, losing only one can of paint in the process.

Danny (the hardworking, floor-laying roommate) was out of town for a month, so we had not lived together yet. I was only living in our duplex for a week before the paint can incident. I wasn’t sure how he’d take the news if I had to give him a phone call and explain that we would have to put a new floor in. The call was a little easier knowing that I kept the floor from being destroyed.

We got the duplex for a very reasonable price, $550 a month, with the exception that we fix the place up. The previous tenants did not seem to care how many holes were punched into the walls or black streaks ran across the floor.

Two weeks after the aforementioned accident, Danny came home. He was ready to start working on the place again. See, he works construction, and knows how to do these things (I’m not sure what to call them exactly) that make the house look better. I, on the other hand, have little expertise in the construction of homes. My skills reach about as far as hammering a nail into a board or wall. Of course, someone would have to instruct me where, exactly, to put the nail. Therefore, Danny has to do the bulk of the fixing-up of the duplex. I suppose my role is, well—I don’t really have a role, unless it’s keeping him company while he’s working. I don’t even suffice as the gofer.

The Wednesday he got back, he was in full-fledged work mode, while I was at school. After sitting through three hours of class and three more hours of work at the library I made my way home. Something was different. The house was dirtier and some things had been moved around. I turned the corner, and the hallway floor was gone, at least half of it. The planks that I had found a puddle of paint on a few weeks before were now missing. All that was left in their place was a slab of concrete.

I inquired Danny, who was painting the bathroom, about the floor. As it turns out, he also had a bit of an accident involving our newly laid hardwood. While working on the sink to my bathroom, he forgot to shut off one of the water valves, resulting in yet another puddle, except this time it was water. Since the wood swells when it gets wet, he had to pick up the planks in order to dry them off. He says that all is well, but I haven’t seen those planks lying around anywhere. I wonder where he put them.

Maybe we should not have put in a new floor prior to finishing the rest of the house. We should have painted, fixed the sink, and done all of the other things left on our list first. It is a very long list. With that kind of foresight, I would have only found paint on a slab of concrete and Danny would not have had to pull up each plank of flooring after bathing them in faucet water. Nevertheless, I am still looking for the missing floor. Its pieces must be around the house somewhere. I did a lot of scrubbing (remember a half an hour’s worth) to clean the paint off those planks.