Cleaning the Gutters. A Hose in the Storm.
Cleaning the Gutters, it’s not sexy, it’s not fun. But if you own a house, it has to be done. Recently we moved into Castle Wicke, and I had spotted one gutter from the above deck; the long metal trough looked like a coffin that nature barfed in, many, many times. But the days were hot and joyous and I was busy doing three-hundred other chores that also had to be done.
A few days ago, the rain came out of nowhere and it pounded the area. I remember watching the water pour from the down spouts like open fire hydrants. I knew I would have to act. Then, this past Saturday there was a break in the barrage and my instincts told me it was time.
It wasn’t a manly decision. And as I said before, it’s not sexy. It’s maturity. It’s because you’re scared of what could happen if you don’t. You jump like a frog, because you know the big slow bus of household erosion is heading straight your way. “What did you do this weekend?” “I cleaned my gutters.” It’s. Just. Not. Sexy. It will not win you any party points.
So with ladder and bucket up to the roof top I went. Finding the first gutter, I reached in and scooped out all the gunk; the leaves, the twigs, pine needles small branches… all manner of nature that had fallen to its death in the wake of Autumn. And soon I took respite in a whole new world, one that few will see. The view of the gutter cleaner. On the roof, two stories up, on a beautiful day, looking over my peaceful Saturday neighborhood.
I continued gunk pulling and butt scooting along the eves of the roof. There is something to be said for being in shape. I may have invented a new exercise, the hiney-slide. (not to be confused with the Heineken-slide) Soon, I had removed all the major debris, however a layer of sediment remained in all metal troughs. The type of dirt that only the mighty garden hose could push to its funneling death down the water spouts.
And then it began to rain.
So, yeah. What’s a little rain? I will not let that detour me from finishing this god-forsaken job. I scaled the ladder again with my hose in hand.
It began to rain harder.
The sky grew dark and my clothes were getting soggy. At first the rain was annoying, but after a good 10 minutes I began to get used to it. Almost like I was becoming one with the elements. I held the garden hose tight and experimented with various manly water settings; all poised at the gunk in the gutters.
It started to rain even harder, and the wind arose.
And be damned, I was still going to finish this job. I’m going to finish it because I started it. Because… that’s what you do?
It turned into a mofo storm.
I continued kettling the dirt to the spout openings and fantasized of being indoors. Of stripping my wet clothes off and standing over a heater vent. Marilyn Monroe, in white dress standing on the warm air of the subway grate came to mind. For a few reasons. But this was no time to think of sexy sirens of the past. This was still, gutter cleaning time.
I began to wonder who was washing who? But at last I reached the pinnacle. The second floor roof, in pelting rain, the wind whipping, still bravely holding my slippery hose and pumping out the last of the gutter sludge. I raised my water gun of the gods high to the heavens just as the lightening flashed.
Quickly exiting the roof, I put everything away, just as the thunder clapped as if saying, “Well done, Mr. Wicke.” I went inside to take my clothes off. My shirt, my jeans, socks, boxer briefs, all sopping wet. They formed a pile, a vestige of my formal self; the man that cleaned the gutters. I stood inside the bedroom looking out at the rain-soaked street, naked, wet but warm, smiling. Yes, neighborhood, I stopped the big slow bus of household erosion. I am that bad-ass.
Peace, Love and Gutters
Stay tuned for my next exciting blog post on how I scrubbed the toilets… …. zzz … zzz…