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The Dust of Time

Two men came to repair my kitchen ceiling yesterday morning. 
Second time in three years that ceiling had to be fixed.  Last
time it was a professional, three-day job.  This time it was a
hack job, two days of patchwork followed
by a week of half-finished ceiling and another day of patchwork. 
Now the ceiling looks like a failed home-deco experiment, with seams
where the repair took place, but you have to look twice to notice.

These men were two of the laziest people I have ever met in the confines of a city
They moved slowly, came to decisions slowly, talked slowly except when
yelling at high volume (and even then the process of argument was slow,
only the words were staccato and fast).  Their tools never worked, and they had to leave on two occasions to buy replacements from a hardware store three miles away.

They also had no common sense, so perhaps retiring to the countryside
wouldn’t solve all of their problems.  They started work with a
tiny tarp and no ventilation… and began to sand.  No wait, they
opened the basement door for ventilation.  They turned on a fan
while sanding (“to blow the dust towards the wall”), and got a fine
layer of plaster-dust all over the room and the one next to it before I
stopped them. 

Meanwhile, a friend’s apartment complex in central square burned terribly,
damaging many of his things..  I remember the last time there was
a big fire in that part of town in an apartment complex…  it was
just across the road from Upton St where I was living, and I happened
to miss it by being out of town.

How easy it would be to lose everything.  I think of the hundreds
of years of labour put into building beautiful monuments, opulent
houses, glorious fortifications, which were later targeted not even for
theft and recycling, but for destruction,
because of their quality.  And of the millions of years put into
building beautiful biomes, life-forms, other crystallizations of order, which are inevitably disintegrated, wiped out, crushed into the simple chaos of their component parts.

Our world is built on such layers of dust.

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