The Day I Decided To Build A Deck

You ever just get a wild hair to do something you’ve never done before? That happened to me when I looked at the front of my house and determined that, from the roadside, it appeared naked. Thus, on a whim I decided to take it upon myself to do something I had never done before- and would never do again…

Wield a hammer.

I’ve never been, what some might call “handy,” I readily admit. When considering the concepts of things that just don’t fit, it overwhelmingly applies to me and manual labor.

I hate to sound like a cliche. I know plenty of trans women who can juggle chainsaws and carve a fully functional Cadillac from the trunk of a dead oak tree. That’s never been me. Things that require careful planning and patience are not my friend… this is why I rebuke liquid eyeliner and think anyone who pretends the use of such arsenal is easy to use should be brought up on charges. I watched half a dozen tutorials on how to give my eyes little upturned wings at the corners with liquid eyeliner and ended up looking like I’d barely survived a bar brawl.

Precise, I am not. But, I am bi-polar, and I fully blame some manic fit on the absolutely illogical decision between the commercials during Days Of Our Lives to build a deck on the front of my house.

I didn’t need a deck. I don’t find decks very impressive. I knew if I had a deck that I’d never even use it. It would just sit there, more of a decoration than anything else but utterly pointless to have. I am not an outdoorsy person at all, to put it quite plainly. Decks, I’ve always imagined, are for people who like to eat grilled meat and don’t mind swatting away aggressive bugs from their face.

To this day, two years on from the musings I’m about to share, I’ve never once sat upon my own deck… and because I’m not the friendly sort who does things like host soirees or invites people to my home, not a single soul has ever sat on my deck, although I imagine at times the view must be lovely from there.

It hasn’t been altogether useless. The Rooster someone flung from their car window that has now lived with me for two years perches himself upon my deck each morning and crows at dawn. It’s just below my bedroom window. It’s a terrible habit he has and I wish he’d find another place to settle himself for his routine wake-up calls. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrust open my window and screamed at the top of my lungs “GET OFF MY DECK!” hoping to thwart his nasty habit. He’s also shit all over it.

It’s a disaster now, at just a few years old. Its lost its once vibrant pastel colors and is peeling in places. My once beautiful deck which I confess I was very proud of, is discolored in spots and evidently stricken with mildew, despite my wood having been treated accordingly.

I had big plans in the beginning, things that I might do… fanciful things as a proud deck owner, like dangle Christmas lights from it so those who drive by might slow down and discreetly appreciate my embellishments, but I never did.

It’s clear to me now, as it was then, that decks are for a specific sort of people. I am not one of those people.

I think a family of raccoons now reside beneath my deck, despite my efforts to place lattice around the perimeter to avoid pest infestation. It’s also home to a few thousand Orb Weaver spiders who feast upon the mosquitoes that swarm around the porch light each summer season.

If you’re anything like me, ignore the fanciful whims of home improvement and take up knitting instead.



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Phaylen Fairchild

Phaylen Fairchild

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright