Monday, November 28, 2011

365 Jobs: The Chris Craft Cure

Tuesday, November 28, 1994

Isabella, my favorite decorator, calls and says, "I need you right away to install cable in my bedroom so Henry can watch TV in bed."  Henry is her husband.

"That's an emergency?" I ask.

"Yes.  On Thanksgiving morning he woke up blind.  He thought he must be dreaming.  Then he tried to touch his eyes because he thought they might have disappeared or something.  He didn't blink because he couldn't see his fingers coming, so he touched his eyeballs.  I drove him to the hospital which was a trip because he likes to sleep cool and he was so angry and upset that he wouldn't let me dress him.  So I walk him across the front yard and get him in the car and of course he won't even put on a seat belt so I throw a blanket over him and he starts thrashing and I drive this naked old blind man in the front seat of my car to the hospital without a seat belt and you know I'm a fanatic about seat belts.  It was a stroke.  A mild stroke.  His eyes still work but his brain lost the pathway."

There are pathways in Isabella's brain that seem to get lost, too.  As she says, sometimes she's "totally blond."  Other days, she's simply smart.  If you were to divide the world into Yes and No, Isabella is a Yes person.  Today, though, she's understandably flustered.

I ask, "Are you okay?"

"Do I sound okay?  I'll be okay if you'll come over today and install the cable."

"Can Henry see now?"

"No, I told you, he's blind as a bat."

For some reason I say, "Bats can see."

"And so will Henry as soon as you install the cable."

An hour later I'm at their house, letting myself in.  Isabella and Henry are at the hospital. 

It doesn't take long.  My drill bit hits the wall cavity on the first try, and I stuff the cable through the hole.  I know their crawl space by heart.  I do small jobs at Isabella's house for free in exchange for all the work she sends my way.

That night, Isabella calls.  "Thank you," she says.  "He's sort of starting to see.  It's the powerboat races."

Henry loves powerboats, especially old wooden Chris Crafts.

1928 Chris Craft Cadet (from Wikipedia)
Isabella continues: "He couldn't stand it that he couldn't see the boats, so he reorganized his brain.  That's what you have to do after a stroke."

Medical science, as filtered through Isabella and implemented by me, has restored Henry's sight.  

"Call me if you need anything," I say.

"Yes," Isabella says.