Sunday, May 23, 2010


This winter had it's way with my roof, hard. My insurance company couldn't come out for two weeks and I thought that was outrageous. I had no idea. Roofers: holy shit. I had several roofers come and look at my roof and none of them sent me an estimate. My bedroom was becoming a rainforest and my concerns about our frame rotting were keeping me up at night.

Three and a half very high stories and a 90ยบ pitch were part of the problem. When you're drowning in jobs why would you take a tough one?

So up I went. My ladder would get me up to the first floor so I had to figure something out. That meant building a cantilever out from my bedroom window, and by cantilever I mean an old cabinet door with 100 pounds of iron weight plates on one end with a bookshelf to hold it up to the window. Safety first... My bedroom window has some fancy woodwork around the top that looked pretty sturdy so I hung on to that while I tried to throw my rope over the roof. I imagined that the rope itself, rolled up, would give me the heft I needed to get it over the roof. Stupid. I ended up tying a rubber mallet to the rope and throwing it over. Note - if you plan on doing this, tie it tight. By the time I got back upstairs with the mallet that had sailed over the roof I had figured that out. Having gotten the rope over the roof, I pulled it in through my opposing bedroom window. I couldn't find anything to tie it to so I remembered some Three Stooges physics and tied it to my doorknob.

Go time. I dragged my safety belt out of the basement , filled one pocket with tacks and another with a brush and a putty knife. With some carabiners I hooked up my roof cement and a sack of shingles. I now weighed 75 more and worried about my cantilever holding me. I didn't adjust it, I just worried. Safety first. I began my ascent of mount Holy Shit These Shingles Are Hot by using the rope to climb up until I sat on the peak of my roof. It was really fucking high.

I descended the other side of the roof where the shingles were gone and got to work. The first thing I did was watch my gallon of cement roll down the roof because I didn't check the carabiner. By the time I got back up it was a thousand degrees hotter. The actual work was tedious and difficult and I only had to make two trips to get shit that I dropped, but let me tell you about roof cement.

Roof cement is a malignant substance that multiplies and spreads exponentially over your body and through the simple act of moving your door and window frames, walls, pillow case and floor. My arms were black, my jeans ruined and my work gloves were stuck to the roof. Four showers later there's still patches of black on my arms and ankles. My son asked if a dab of it on the glass panel of the front door was poop, I said no it's roof cement. He asked why it was on the door if it was roof cement.

So now we wait. It's supposed to storm tonight and I'm on pins and needles. Wish me luck.


  1. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Leo, dear god, I don't even know what to say to this.


  2. I knew that if I fell I'd be in the hands of a confident ER nurse