The bedrooms are clouded with dust, obscuring my view of The Husband. We both wear industrial dust masks, his with a shield that covers his face completely. The lightbulb from an unshaded lamp in the corner of the room casts a dusky orange glow across the walls. This looks more like a scene straight out of post-apocalyptic movie than a simple floor renovation.
We step out, remove earplugs and dust masks. Wipe down our hands and head outside for relief and cool fresh air.
But there is work yet to be done.
The dust settles. After a few minutes with a shop vac, the floor appears.
It's rough and pale, free from the black squiggly snail trails of glue that were there just an hour ago. Faded yellow paint still lines the perimeter of the room, peeking out from beneath the baseboards as if mocking us in a silly game of peek-a-boo. Yes, paint. I still see you. But your days are numbered too.
We worked as a team, him silently braced against the concrete grinder as it whirled back and forth, me sweeping back dust to see where he had been and attacking the heavy spots with the shop vac.
Though the room vibrated with the growl of the grinder, it was a quiet noise. Harmonious, even.
It feels good, having done this work together. Exactly what I wanted from our projects in this house. There is still much to do, even tonight we need to get back in there to wash down the concrete and inspect our work further.
Tomorrow, we build these floors back up. But tonight, I already feel accomplished.