Was it something we said? Was it something we did?
Where, oh where, have you gone, Tony, our crack carpenter?
One minute you were there, siding our house, nailing up drywall. You asked us if we wanted an extra step into our tub and I said I would be happy just to have a tub. We laughed.
Then one day we went to our half-finished and uninhabitable house and were met with an air of desolation and loneliness. Nowhere was the sound of a hammer against nail, steel against wood. Only the breeze through the branches of the trees greeted us, whispering your name.
For days we’ve searched every backwater housing project and construction site for any hint of your whereabouts. Do you know how degrading it is to have to take to the streets like that, cow-towing to any hammer-toting Johnny for a mere splinter of information? How low must we decline before you take pity and return to us?
Did we not tell you often enough how valuable you were to us? Did we not praise you enough? We gave you the best years in the life of our half-finished and uninhabitable house. We paid you on time. Tell us what we did to be treated this way.
Now when we go to our half-finished and uninhabitable house we can’t help but wonder if things could have been different. Perhaps we needed you too much, relied on you too much. If we had it to do all over again we would have thought more about your needs. Would it have been too much for us to provide boxed lunches, a champagne reception every Friday or a blue portable toilet instead of beige? I think not.
“Tony! Tony!” they call into the vacant nothingness that is your absence.
On the other hand, could there be a black hole on the lot where Tony and my gnomes have fallen into a parallel universe? Somewhere are our parallel selves happily moving into their parallel house thanks to their other-dimensional visitor, Tony? Then I'd be really pissed because he promised not to start any other job until our project was complete.