Meanwhile, we could not build.
And somewhere now, I am losing track of the chronology of events.
The next day, I called The Tall Man and he scolded me for not waiting two days. "I'll tell you when it's ready" he said. I wasn't surprised, I had gotten the idea of his ways. The weekend was coming and I would have to wait till Monday. The rain might not wait but I would have to.
And my team was messing up left and right. It is too painful to recall how fast things went down and how I could see my house being mistreated. One day I am going to write a book about "defining moments," these instants when clarity shows up and we have to make a turn. Mine was on its way.
The brand new patio floor looked like something that had been there for years and had some semi trucks drive over it regularly. The little storage shed on the roof was crooked, everywhere I looked things were off. I felt as though I was fighting a battle at every corner and things which I had overlooked for weeks suddenly were catching up to me. I was tired. I had no more patience for the mess of the construction site, the excusing this and that which I had been doing was gone. I had no more room for the excuses that had been given me for the last weeks, either.
Then the rain came.
And my house turned into a swimming pool.
The Defining Moment.
I walked in and the walls were weeping, the floors were soaked. Little and less little pools of water coming from the ceiling.
I felt numb. I walked around in circles, trying to breathe, to find The Gift.
The Gift walked in a couple of minutes later. One of my neighbors. I think he saw the wild in my eyes, the giving up too.
He touched my arm in an uncharacteristic show of kindness (believe me this is not Pleasantville and this is a rather tough crowd) and said: "Laura, your house is almost done." Then: "Everything has a solution."
Ok, everything has a solution. My eyes on the calendar, I knew my kids were arriving the next night. That together we would find that solution. I could hang on another twenty four hours.
But I also knew that the time had come to let go of this team. Of Jorge. My house was a swimming pool and if there was a solution, it had to come from another direction. I could no longer do this.
I let him know. I hoped he would heal his shoulder while I healed my house. He thanked me. I think we both knew if was right.
I picked up a mop and started cleaning up. My girlfriend came to help me.
A bit later, as we were ready to leave, a brief text arrived and I learned that my kids would not be getting here the next night but that instead, I might have to fly to them and try to get them home. Something about a bus at the border of Guatemala, an immigration raid.
That part is their story and not mine to tell. But that day, it felt like a lot.