The chimney sweepers are here to replace an unidentifiable rusting metal thing on our roof.
As they work, they sound as if they are clamoring in an enormous cabinet of bucket-sized baking pans. Chimneys must be flimsier than I realized.
The chimney trumpets out the workers every word with tinny clarity. I can hear them across the house.
The younger of the two wonders why his girlfriend won’t text him back. His partner grunts agreement and gives the young man advice he will not follow. I suspect this scenario has played out before.
Although I met the duo before, I can’t recall their faces. Curiously, the young man is the tallest person I ever encountered. His bearded partner is on the short side. I imagine they are teased over the height disparity.
I like them. They arrived on time and did not ring the doorbell to chat with me (as my husband requested!). Their merry banter vibrates the walls, while a pudgy boom box tinkles out the sort of pop music my son loves.
I see myself bringing them coffee and treats. They entertain me with chimney sweeping stories and we decide to put up holiday lights with their tall ladder since they have time to kill. We enjoy a jolly afternoon.
This fleeting fantasy cheers me, even though I am actually hiding from them in my bedroom.
I have always created friendly little episodes with unknown people. This private pleasure may not be typical, but it fulfills me. I feel connected by observing people, not by interacting with them.
Notebooks detailing such fictional episodes line the walls of my art room.
I peep out the window as they leave. For such a huge stature, the young man is surprisingly agile and handles the ladders like glittery batons. His partner scribbles the invoice and consults electronic devices while tugging his ear.
I mentally wish them well, picturing how our October Christmas lights would delight my family.