Sunday, September 28, 2003
My partner and I redid a bathroom this weekend. There is some plumbing to be done and that will be taken care of by an actual plumber. But we are handling the cleaning, painting, new fixtures, curtains, ceiling and floor. This is a bathroom in a small apartment in his house that had been occupied by an older man alone for something like eighteen years. He had been there in residence with his nephew and the nephew ran off with a guy he had become infatuated with, abandoning his uncle in the process. My partner is a very compassionate man, so he made an adjustment on the rent and told Uncle Ed, who was already over retierment age, that he could stay and be secure as he faced old age on his own.
Ed had been part of the American force that took Iwo Jima in WWII. He had seen a great deal of brutal action in the Pacific and had become somewhat reclusive. In his mid-80s, he recently decided to move into an assisted living facility and we began to reclaim the apartment. He hadn't mistreated it but for many years he hadn't been able to clean it properly or, finally, at all. We have redone the kitchen and living room, the bedroom has been cleaned, but we had always looked in the bathroom, screamed, shut the door and said, "later!" Well, later is now. We should have the whole thing done in a couple of weeks. For now, an incredible amount of filth has been cleaned out, the walls repaired and repainted, and a new shower curtain and sundries put in. The toilet is beyond salvation and will be replaced. There were actual growths in the tank--I've never seen anything like it. It's amazing how fast things can deteriorate when left without maintenance.