Temporary Fixes

Calf Audio is mostly a concert sound company, so working for them mostly meant working on site at gigs. But Calf does have a shop, where they store gear, fix it, and do the office work that keeps a small business running. Their shop has a door — has three, actually, but I’m remembering one in particular.

For the five or so years I worked there, the front door had no knob. Instead it had a square bit of plywood covering a knob-shaped hole. Todd had drilled through the plywood and threaded a string through it, secured at one end with a knot and tied at the other to a wooden dowel. To open the door from the outside, you pushed. To close it, you grabbed the dowel and pulled the string.

After a few years, it occurred to me to ask how long the knob had been missing.

“I think since 1992,” Barny said.

I haven’t been to the shop in a while, but if there’s a knob on the door, I’ll eat my hat.

New York apartments survive on temporary fixes. The people who own them live elsewhere, and the people who live there don’t own them. Who’s got time for a permanent fix to somebody else’s problem?