Cleaning The Roof

Dave always thought of himself as a handyman fixing things around the house that need some TLC.  Last summer Dave thought the roof on his eighteen- year old house was in-need of a good clean. Over the years Dave’s terracotta tiles had been growing a garden of dusty greyish green Lichen.  The roof had a better garden than the barren track of land he called “the garden” surrounding the house. All attempts to grow flowers and shrubs ended in disaster. Plants looking green and lush when first planted went through a gradually browning process over the next week or so, ending up looking like dried tobacco leaves.

It was early afternoon when Dave finally got around to tackling the roof garden.  The aluminium ladder leaned against the rain gutter that bent inward with the weight of the ladder and Dave.  He staggered up the ladder with the pressure washer dangling from his left hand. It was more awkward than heavy and posed a problem in how he was going to swing it up onto the roof.  The first attempt resulted in failure and foot long scar in the previously pristine painted gutter. The second attempt was successful, but the washer had other ideas and tried it’s best to slide back down the roof and over the edge.  A quick sideways manoeuvre on the ladder almost toppling it over saved the day. Down the ladder again to drag up the power lead. Down the ladder again to fetch the hose. Trying to attach the power lead and the hose to the power washer was another challenge.  The power lead wasn’t too heavy and stayed put but the hose was much heavier and slid of the roof. So, it was down the ladder again, drag the hose up and secure it with a length of well weathered hairy grey rope. Then down the ladder again to turn on the water supply and power.

Dave started to clean the roof on the west side.  Everything went well for the first five minutes, then he stepped onto a wet patch on the tiles.  It bought back memories of his youth and the ice skating that he used to go to with his brother. His left foot stepped on the wet patch to find absolutely no traction.  The pressure hose flew from his hand as his backside hit the deck and began to slide down the slippery slope. Luckily the washer was on the other side of the roof hip as he desperately made a grab for the hose.  The hose was wet and slippery, but he held on for grim death. Fortunately, the washer slid up the roof and jammed against the capping tiles at the top and his slide was halted just before he went over the edge. Down the ladder again, a quick change of underwear and shoes and on with the job.  The west side took an hour and a half of very careful foot placement. Down the ladder again for afternoon tea.

Back on the roof again to clean the east side that faces the second story of the house next door.  The bloke next door, Ken, is a nice guy. His work takes him away from home occasionally. He had been away for most of the week.  Dave could hear some conversation and laughter coming from Ken’s house and thought he must be home. From his position on the roof Dave could look straight into Ken’s bedroom.  Ken’s wife Julie is mid thirties with long blond hair that framed her very attractive face and accentuated her sky-blue eyes.

Trying not to be a Peeping Tom Dave continued to clean the tiles.  The talk from next door began to get quieter and the laughing died down.  Something flashing across Ken’s window caught Dave’s eye, but he didn’t see what it was.  Continuing to clean he couldn’t help but see Ken’s back as he took off first his shirt then the rest of his clothes until he was completely naked.  Dave tried to look away, but the appearance of Julie’s naked body was hard to ignore. Her long blond hair cascaded down over her breasts, her nipples peeping out between the strands of hair as she jiggled her breasts from left to right.  Dave had thought she would have a good body, but she was beautiful well beyond his imagination. The couple disappeared from the window and Dave assumed they were headed for the bed.

Roof cleaning continued for another hour without any distractions from the bedroom window.  Down the ladder again, and again, to retrieve the cleaning equipment. Walking out to the garage to put the cleaning equipment away Dave notice that Ken had a new car.  

“That’s funny,” he thought, “this car is older than the one he had before.”  

Ken worked for a business machine company, this car had a sign advertising home security systems.  As Dave closed the garage door Ken came out of the front door and went to his car.

“G’day Ken how’s it going.” Dave asked.  He took a second look. “Oh shit, it’s not Ken.”

“Ah sorry mate I thought you were Ken.”

“Nar, I’m Stuart.  I just came to re calibrate the security system.  There may have been an intruder earlier today.”

There sure was an intruder,” thought Dave, “intruding in Julie’s bed.”

“Well it’s all good now,” said Stuart, “Julies satisfied.”

From what I saw, Julie’s well satisfied,” Dave thought.    

As Stuart drove away it struck Dave that he had seen Stuart before.  Walking back into the house Dave remembered that his wife had used Stuart to re calibrate their security system, and she said she was very satisfied with his performance.

Published by

Peter Gray

I was born in 1946. I studied at a technical school and followed a science program. I worked in the production of PVC compounds with a multinational company for 20 years then established a new plastics company with a business partner. On the sale of this company I followed several career changes; chemical and plastics trading company, finance broking, debt reduction services, commercial floorcoverings company. It was not until recently that it was recognize that I have dyslexia which explains why he had trouble at school. I had trouble right through my schooling with not being able to spell or even recognise syllables. I joined The Rowville Writers Group as a challenge and have been totally surprised by the fact that I can actually write short stories and poetry. Google is a wonderful dictionary.

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