The work on our upstairs bathroom proceeds. We knew it would take weeks, and that there would be workers in the house during that time, and that we’d need to use the downstairs bathroom, but the project had one byproduct I didn’t fully anticipate.
Dust. Lots and lots of dust.
When the tile was removed from the drywall in the bathroom, it produced dust. So did pulling down the drywall. So did prying off the floor tile, removing the shower basin and toilet, and taking the medicine cabinet off the wall. I’ve concluded that most bathroom fixtures and coverings must be made of about 90 percent compacted dust.
And here’s another fun fact about dust that I’ve learned: dust is adventurous. Dust likes to explore. Dust apparently wasn’t happy about being trapped in the bathroom for all those years, and now it wants to get out and see the world — or at least the upstairs of our house. And dust must be curious, too, because it seems to be ending up in virtually every nook and cranny of our upstairs sitting room and bedroom and closets.
Every night when I walk upstairs, I enter the dust zone, and I think of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl of the 1930s and photographs of thin, sad-eyed women holding babies and children and staring forlornly into the distance. There’s a fresh layer of fine dust everywhere, on the floor, on chairs, on my desk, and on the clothes in my closet. We’re probably being covered with dust as we sleep, too.
But here’s the worst part — every time I see the dust, the Kansas song Dust in the Wind runs through my head. It’s unquestionably one of the most morose, whiny, annoying songs ever recorded. What could be worse that coming home from a hard day’s work and hearing Dust in the Wind, over and over again? (Well, I suppose hearing Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, but that’s a bit off topic.)
I’ll be glad when the bathroom project ends, and we can shake the dust off and move on.