A problem with getting a pretty color on the walls of the parlor, which I have been DYING to do, is that the walls are not really ready. They LOOK ready, but a raking light reveals a disturbing reality.
Raking light is a bitch.
In normal light the walls look pristine, and just aching for paint. But raking light from a 1000W work-lamp instantly reveals an alarming multitude of imperfections.
In a previous post I outed myself as being a bit…disturbed. A bit nutty. OK, way nutty. You see, I love it when things are, well, right. I enjoy rightness. I delight in rightness.
You see what I mean? I am disturbed.
And now my disturbed bent is focused on the parlor. So, even though the walls look just fine in normal light, I know that if I paint them a pretty color, a ray of sunlight will one day rake across a wall…and imperfections will show. Or, two years from now I will put a lamp on a table, and it will suddenly reveal sins of imperfection. Or, the fabulous 1890s gas/electric chandelier I happen upon for $80 (a man can dream, right?), once installed, will throw into relief three million imperfections on the walls.
Oh, the horror. The horror.
I had a few friends at the house the other day, and was describing these concerns about the parlor. As their eyes scanned the seemingly perfect walls, they looked to me. “Are you nuts?” they asked. “The walls look great.”
Then I switched on the raking light.
My guests gasped.
The pleasure of my vindication was perhaps a tad more than I should admit to.
A while ago I was giving a tour of the Cross House to somebody I just met. I will call her Sue. When the tour was done, Sue said: “Wow! You are really anal-compulsive.”
I replied that I wasn’t actually.
“No, really,” I said.
Sue look upon me with a bit of pity, and I knew she thought I was in full-blown denial.
We looked at each other for a few moments. Me, a little miffed; she, sympathetically. I could hear her thinking: He just doesn’t get it.
“Follow me,” I asked, trying to keep the miff out of my tone.
I walked Sue out to my car, and opened it.
Sue gasped. The interior of the vehicle was a mess. An impressive mess.
Her eyes were wide in shock.
I explained. “I am not actually anal-retentive. Well, I am regarding the Cross House. The house has been so…bruised, and for so long, that I just have this overwhelming desire to nourish the house back to, I dunno, rightness. This seems vital to me, and drives a lot of what I do on the house.”
Sue looked at the Collyer brothers-like interior of my car, and said: “I did not know someone could be anal-compulsive on demand.”
Hey, that sounds like a great name for a band: Anal-compulsive on demand