160House: The Time-Loop Episode

Act One: That Familiar Feeling

Groundhog Infinito

“I’ve done this before,” I thought as I traced my pencil lines with the jigsaw, “I think I’ve done this a lot of times before.”

The blade jigged through the last bit of siding and I knelt to the ground to retrieve the tiny corner piece.

I carried the thin sliver of wood in my fist, hoping, praying, “Maybe this time.”

But when I ascended the ladder the truth was evident. The piece did not fit, and in an instant I was back at my sawhorse table, measuring, drawing, sawing.

Act Two: Time-Loop

Time-Loop (1)For how long nobody but me and now all of you know (it was an hour and a half), I measured, drew, sawed, placed, and cussed at my siding before starting again.

I found I had a small influence over the time-loop I had been caught in. In one cycle a piece would be too large, in another too small. Sometimes I would go to the left side of the house, sometimes to the right.

But it always ended the same. Me, back at the sawhorse, measuring, drawing, sawing.

I thought if I could just do it one more time, I could escape the loop. If I got it right, it would all be over but no matter what I tried I just couldn’t.

I thought about jumping from the 160House roof but morbid means never worked for Phil and besides, I would probably just twist an ankle.

Then it occurred to me. At the heart of every awful time-loop plot is a simple trope. The loop allows a protagonist to hone skills to perfection but the skills are never the point. It’s not Phil’s piano lessons that free him.

No one escapes a time-loop without learning a good old fashioned life lesson.

Act Three: Fuck It

On my lucky 13th try I carried my tiny, precious corner piece to the back of the house to once more fit it into the last blank edge at the top of the hutch.

It was…

Too small.

I stood frozen, defeated. I felt as if my entire self-worth were wrapped up in this minuscule piece of siding. Why couldn’t I do this? I had a shiny degree from a prestigious university, right? Haven’t I built this whole house? I’m so good at putting together IKEA furniture!

I stared the piece down, and it stared back at me, taunting me until I declared, “Fuck it!”

Here was my life lesson all scrunched up into a 4ish inch long triangle. I don’t have to do everything right. I don’t have to learn every skill. I just have to finish this fucking house before I lose my mind.

I glued that piece into place, resolved to caulk around it over the weekend, and went home to order pizza. Time-loop broken.

youareGood Enough1 (1)
#motivationmonday

End of Episode.

 

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