Friday, February 15, 2013

365 Jobs: Handyman Sketches: Plum Court

Don't Blame Me, I'm Just Here to Fix the Garbage Disposal: Part One

Plum Court

Plum Court Apartments is a clean sanctuary offering
asylum from all but a select part of the natural world.
There are no plums.  Nor trees of any sort.

Upscale units surround a concrete courtyard
engirdling a blue swimming pool.  Interiors
are furnished in plush style, most seating aimed
at a television.

Each unit has a tiny yard fenced in wrought iron.
All summer, near-naked multi-colored mothers
will be toasting in harsh sunlight while children splash
in the pool.  Kneeling, white-shirted, straw-hatted,
an old man will be planting bright flowers
in the itty bitty gardens.

Tinkering with a faucet here, a light switch there,
I wander wide-eyed, a tourist with a tool belt.

Or the short version:

You might call me a failure;
I call it a sport.
Regardless, here I am:
Handyman, Plum Court.

Note: Among my contracting jobs, for many years I've served as the on-call handyman for a group of townhouse-style apartments — or rental units — or whatever one should call an enclosed square of two-story dwellings in a subdivision in Sunnyvale, California.  It's steady money.  As a minor league writer, I need that.
I tried to summarize the experience in prose, but verse seems to work best.  Most of the events took place in the 1980s though a few are more recent.  This is Part One of a series.

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