CHAPTER TWENTY- The other shoes drops, so to speak.
Ray Meadows woke to sunlight streaming through every crack and crevice of the drawn blinds over the bedroom window. The sun's up, Ray. Time to join it. It couldn't have been too up, as he looked across the bed and saw his wife still sound asleep. Hmmm. It was both bright and early. What a way to start a Saturday. What ever happened to sleeping in to the crack of noon? Ray knew he had things to do. Lots of things. And hydroponics was none of them. Fortunately for Ray, neither was skim milk. Ray slid out of bed quietly, made his way to the bathroom and got dressed as quietly as he could. Sneaking downstairs in his socks and carrying his shoes, Ray had his wife's breakfast ready, on a tray and delivered back up to the bedroom before she stirred from the comfort of that nice soft bed. See? Not all men are pigs. Not all the time, anyway.
With the wife happy and breakfast out of the way, Ray found his way to the basement. He still needed to rustle up some boxes. Too bad he wasn't having much luck. Funny thing, Ray thought: He felt like he was always moving empty boxes out of the way down there to get other things done. There always seemed to be empty boxes in the way. Now that he needed a few, there were none to be found. Ok, no boxes. He'd have to live with that. He could make do. Undaunted, Ray made his way back up the stairs, through the kitchen and out the back door. It was one beautiful day, even without the boxes.
Out in the garage, Ray swung the door up and out of the way. Plastic pipes and fittings were bunched all over the floor. Plastic grit and dust from last night's cutting party covered the floor. It didn't look that bad last night. Funny what the harsh light of day can do for your view. Ray grabbed the broom and began sweeping the floor again. Today was "Clean It, Prime It & Glue It Day”. He knew there wouldn't be much of a mess in that. So the garage would stay clean- right up to the point he started messing with that cement to fill the pipes. Now that would be messy. But later.
With the garage floor cleaned (again), Ray sorted out all the pipes and fittings (again) and began the slow tedious process of fitting tab A into slot B to make a cage. Five of the six sides were absolutely identical, the sixth side having the door. Easy enough to do the same thing over and over for five sides before he had to stop and think about it on that last side that was different. And that's just what he did: Pick up the pieces, swab on the primer, add the glue when the primer was dry and fit the pieces together. Like really big Tinker Toys. The very first one took the longest to assemble, of course. Ray wanted to make absolutely sure he had that first one together correctly as a pattern for the four to follow. After side number one, it was monkey see, monkey do. And he monkey did. By the time Barbara came out of house after eleven that morning, Ray had three sides glued together and was halfway through number four.
Barbara was doing her part for the cause: She was staying out of Ray's way until she knew it was time for him to take a break and get something to eat. She knew that, left alone, he'd probably work non-stop through the afternoon and end up tired and crabby all evening. No need for that. She knew just what to do and just what to say. I think perhaps she had done this before.
"Hey, Mister Cage Man, you know what time it is?"
"Whoa- um, no. Lunch time?"
"Very good, Cage-Meister. Now- Where are you taking me for lunch?"
"Well, you'd better not be taking anybody else."
"Oh, yeah, right. Of course. Lunch. Yeah."
Barbara walked into the garage and began surveying the situation. Not bad. Ray had done quite a bit of work that morning. And used quite a bit of glue.