former intangible heavenly vibe
Monday, November 15 2004
Gretchen's clients inevitably become mine because my utility is immediately obvious: everyone has a computer and every computer has problems. Today we went on a housecall together over across the Hudson in Redhook. We stopped in downtown Redhook first for a lunch at a Mexican restaurant there (this restaurant also stocks a full line of Goya products). As usual when we eat at a Mexican restaurant, Gretchen told the waitress first thing, "Estamos estudiando español," and then we did our best to order in Spanish, though I forgot the word for mushrooms (hongos), and had never learned the word for spinach (espinaca). It must have been a pretty authentic Mexican restaurant, because it featured corn smut on the menu. The only thing unauthentic was the price. Our lunch somehow came to more than $20! That's the east bank of the Hudson for you.
My job today was to run ethernet cable from a room in a rectory, out under an outdoor pathway, into a church basement, and then up into the main space of the church itself. Mind you, this rectory and this church, though once serving a humble Roman Catholic parish, are no longer being used for any distinctly religious purpose; they now belong to a woman who is more of a philosopher (indeed, she used to be married to an Oberlin College president). In place of its former intangible heavenly vibe, the place now has something much more useful: broadband internet access.
It was a messy job, particularly the part where I had to clamber across ancient dirt hillsides in the church's crude (and very dark) basement. That place had a distinctly 19th Century vibe to it. Protruding at crazy angles from the soil were artifacts of simpler times, ancient sections of gutter mostly. Stranger still was a species of vine that covered large swaths of the soil. Somehow it could maintain somewhat greenish foliage in near-total darkness. I kept expecting to run across a half-buried time capsule left for me by Tom Sawyer (or his Hudson Valley equivalent). Pulling ethernet through this crazy world, I was a misplaced man from the future.
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