Tuesday, September 30, 2014

raise high the rooftop, ye carpenters

Today's quirky urban surprise in Syracuse: a crew of bearded men, each wearing a blue shirt and a straw hat, rebuilding -- actually adding on to -- the roof of an unsavory commercial building, an entity that seemingly sells cigarettes of questionable origin and caters to customers who are decidedly not refugees from Neiman Marcus. Are the rooftop carpenters Amish or Mennonites? They work steadily, quietly (in terms of no profanity, no shouting), and diligently. They make use of a chainsaw, possibly plugged in (which makes me wonder about their embrace of the uses of electricity, or not, according to their religious tenets). They work on the A-frame skeletal structure that will support the roof extension. And as they work, a clutch of neighborhood regulars (or bus stop patrons) sits on a retaining wall across the street, one of them with a tall boy (presumably a beer) in a paper bag. These wastrels watch with idle amusement. They do not know what to make of this foreign activity that goes by the name of "work." The rooftop workers seem to be oblivious of their audience. They are fully engaged in the task at hand. The viewers get their fill of free entertainment, just another uncounted hour of just another day absent of ambition, cognition, and fruition. 

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