This morning I met Fred, a human, in the Old Barn.
I made the point because there is also Fred-the-dog, who doesn’t really know anything about barns, other than that once he found part of a sandwich in ours (don’t ask), so frantically looks for that sandwich again. Every single time he finds his way into the Old Barn.
Anyway, Fred-the-human was here because there was an issue.
We might have a black hole.
I mean, I don’t know anything about physics… but I did read A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking once.
Hawking is a cosmologist – not to be confused with a cosmoTOLogist, (which is more about beauty treatments and often hair styling than, you know, the mysteries of the universe). Also, Stephen Hawking is all about quantum gravity (which is more about black holes than make-up).
A Brief History of Time is a book intended for people who didn’t really want to do too much math or physics, but wanted to understand the universe, time, black holes and such.
In all honesty, after the first few chapters I sort of skimmed it. I was in my twenties so may have been much more about how I looked holding a book by the guy who was sitting in Isaac Newton’s seat at Cambridge, than actually reading a book of this nature.
I think I thought I looked ‘smaht’.
Of course, that book is now screaming at me from the shelf and I’m suffering the consequences of the skimming thing…
Because I might have a black hole in my barn, that’s why!
Catching my breath.
Okay, so I’ll try to do this calmly.
So, like, one minute all the stuff in the Old Barn – outdoor furniture, kayaks, the old flag – was hangin’ out and being, like, level.
And the next minute everything is struggling for its dignity and very existence. It was all clawing and screaming as it slid toward what could be, but isn’t yet, a widening abyss.
It did too happen.
And the carnage is incredible, and I don’t know if anything is retrievable because, when I look at it all (from a safe distance of course), I have many feelings.
But mostly I feel gravity.
Which is a big and telling symptom of idiopathic black hole-ed-ness.
When you are faced with the possibility of a black hole in your barn, you probably want to call on Stephen Hawking to come over, being the expert and all, to take a look.
But he is in, like, England.
So I called Fred-the-human, because he was in charge of creating the barn.
I know, stupid right?
The issue is the black hole, not barn construction.
But I was in a panic, and panicked people make wHierd decisions.
So he came over and I warned him to be careful, because of the aforementioned gravity.
And he was really brave and walked right up to the barn… and into the barn… and he actually emerged from the barn.
He then announced that the issue with the barn was not a black hole.
Okay, he didn’t really say that.
He said the problem was a broken floor.
That the nearly 200 year-old post-but-not-too-post Revolutionary War chestnut beams that we re-used when restoring the barn… broke.
So the floor was sagging toward the middle, due to lack of support.
I’m not saying I believe that diagnosis, because of the hammer and nail thing.
You know, when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail?
Fred is an old house restoration guy, he is naturally going to arrive at an old house restoration type of diagnosis.
If Stephen Hawking were here?
Black hole. Totally.
So I’m going to humor Fred-the-human and let him come on over with big beams and pegs and mallets and stuff.
He’s pretty certain in his diagnosis, and such hubris sometimes meets with shocking fate.
I have gathered ropes and other things with which to tether myself, The Nearly Perfect Husband, Gabe, and the dogs to (I’m looking for pipes that go down fifty feet – like the ones Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt lashed themselves to in order to ride out the F5 tornado in the movie Twister).
Because when Fred-the-human and his cocky crew head into the barn some time in the coming weeks, and the U.S.S. Starship Enterprise explodes from the black hole and I hear Scotty, screaming that he is giving her all she’s got, all the way from my house (where I am lashed to the pipes that I hope exist in my basement), then who will be laughing? Huh?
Me and Stephen Hawking, that’s who.
Thanks for readin’.
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