ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 95: Double Deadline
Jerry, Joshua’s elf carpenter man, is at Charles Street for the last time.
Working about once a week — fitting us into his busy schedule — he installed toe molding in the bedroom, kitchen, and pantry; put in nine dowels to strengthen one of the French doors; installed each pane of tempered glass in the doors, then hung them; put in an electric line for the built-in oven; replaced kitchen and bathroom faucets; hung ceiling fixtures; and replaced missing rafters in the garage.
These are the major repairs. He did minor repairs: planing the bathroom window, nailing down a long wooden strip of the porch ceiling, and patching the bedroom floor where an airflow register was removed years ago. Knowing Jerry was available to help him with the house spurred Joshua to buy it.
“Jerry’s awesome,” Joshua says.
On this, Jerry’s final day of work, Joshua says: “I want to settle up with you, Jerry.”
They’re standing in the kitchen. Jerry just finished the last job on his work list — putting two kitchen drawers back on track. Joshua, following Jerry’s direction, just finished repairing the front doorbell’s wiring.
“What do you think?” Jerry asks.
“I trust you, Jerry. Whatever you think is fair.”
Jerry suggests a number, and Joshua agrees to it. It’s more than fair to us.
Joshua writes a check and hands it to Jerry, who slips it into his wallet after one quick glance at it. “Call me if you need me,” he says when he leaves.
Joshua and I will finish the rest of the work ourselves. And we’re on a double deadline. First, Christy’s coming to town in twelve days and planning to stay for ten. Then, the day after she leaves, the lessees move in — my sister-in-law’s daughter, Carrie, and Carrie’s boyfriend, who’re moving back home after a few years in Brooklyn.
In one of their phone conversations, Joshua said to Christy: “L. A.’s not being too nice to you right now. Why don’t you come here? Check out the house? Spend a week or so here?” She said to him: “You can make it happen.” So he’s paying for her trip here and back, and they’ll camp out at Charles Street.
They haven’t seen each other since Christy told him: “It’s either you go or I go.” That was four months ago.
Has anything really changed between them?