ReFinishing

impossibly small brush
“I failed to astound myself again.”

It seems as if I’ve never completed any job. I’ve batted each around like a cat tiring a terrified mouse until the mouse or I finally conceded and suspended play. Perhaps another day would come where play might resume, destined to become another inconclusive contest abandoned short of complete. Between bouts, an unsteady truce reigns. Additional fiddling might become necessary. A bit of touch up paint, a previously overlooked imperfection, each evidence of an eternally asymptotic relationship with done. Most observers might never suspect that I’m a quitter, one who inevitably leaves each job undone, though I never shake awareness of this fact.

I have yet to experience the exhilaration of crossing a finish line.
I might later learn that a job’s time has already past, that no opportunity to re-do or re-finish will ever appear. Then, a minor sensation of disappointment might visit me in lieu of a sense of accomplishment. The chance for redemption will have expired, leaving me in the same damned whatever I did place it always abandons me into. My vitae features incomplete sentences, unfinished paragraphs which hint at perhaps great experience initiating change and no personal exposure to achieving any kind of it. My career, an unfinished sort of symphony, one featuring several memorable snippets of melody which never resolve except as endlessly repeated codas.

I get my juice from new beginnings. I carefully plot my course. I understand how limited my foresight has always been yet still usually manage to coax myself into another engagement. I accumulate those supplies I think might contribute to completing the job, yet always learn how shortsighted I had been before. The job degrades into a chore, then further falls into full-blown obligation before the mouse and I finally agree to call this one a draw. Close scrutiny might discover how far from completed we decided to call it quits. Most observers will never suspect. I won’t tout the near-accomplishment. I’m likely to rather quickly forget I’d even engaged.

These near conclusions sum to a body of work rather than one of genuine accomplishments. A body of work-in-progress, hallways only partially investigated, conclusions short of assert-ability. I remain in a still-learning state well short of full understanding. My impressions remain inconclusive; my skills, still only somewhat separate from their promising cocoon. I somedays seem nearer some cusp, but a plot twist inevitably intrudes. I might have sanded away every bit of rust only to notice a rusty dust impervious to any wipe-down remaining. I might drench the surface with some chemical only to learn that it defies completely cleaning up and inhibits the finish coat from thoroughly sticking. The finished surface scratches too easily, leaving grey gouges where the primer peeks through. I spread tiny bits of the finish coat with an impossibly small artist brush to cover the scars. I can easily spot the mends, though I doubt if anyone else ever can.

To anyone else, the chair Refinishing job looks complete. To my eye, it’s another instance of change’s defiant resistance. I finally put away my tools and supplies, ready to accept that moving on must once again stand in for closure. Get thee behind me, job, until the next Refinishing cycle comes around. I failed to astound myself again.











©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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