If you can build…

From Monday, by Mark Helprin:

As he was walking in the cold wind and blinding sun, he recalled this woman and her husband. They were almost young enough to be his children. The husband, who worked on Wall Street, wore dark horn-rims and had the face of a rabbinical student. A genius of sorts in the abstract, he had delicate hands and seemed actually to fear the resistant power of the apartment’s walls and woodwork that had to be pulled apart and put together again. Fitch knew that this was because of the precision of his nature, that what he feared was the breaking of more than had to be broken, the pulling out of more than had to be pulled out, and the damage to parts that were to remain, creating in irreperable shattering not only more work than was necessary, but chaos as well.
A contractor, however, learns early on to deal with chaos, and the technique is simple: if you can build, you need not fear the terrors of demolition. For example, if you know how to build a window-opening into a wall, how to set a window in, how even to build a window itself, and how to do the trim and painting around it, you need not fear any of the process of taking the window out, for you can go down clear to the bone and come back cleanly, rebuilding, better than in a partial repair.

And with that, I bid you good night.


3 thoughts on “If you can build…

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