Care of Wooden Floors
by Will Wiles
When the unnamed narrator house-sits his friend’s flat in an unnamed Eastern European city he should have known it might be a bit of trouble. The two friends are very different, Oskar, the friend, is a professional and very successful musician who is fastidious in all he does – a perfectionist. Our narrator, on the other hand, is somewhat of an easy-going slob.
The floors of Oskar’s apartment are made of a beautiful and apparently very expensive wood. The narrator’s wine glass drips on the living room floor. The cats (2) are not allowed on the soft when Oskar is there but when our narrator is there they lounge there – until one of them scratches the leather.
The narrator gets a bit paranoid about Oskar’s return. He’s visited different places in the city and he’s not amused, not entertained. He’s not getting any work of his own done – he’s a copy writer.
But when our narrator realizes that Oskar is in California to take care of a divorce and that back home his floor and sofa are messed up – he wonders how Oskar, the total perfectionist, will react. This will not be good – so he tries to fix the floor and things turn from bad to very much worse.
The book is funny in it’s own gentle way. But it gets a bit strange – so many twists – I really like the narrator and I’m rather drawn to Oskar. Michael, Oskar’s friend in the European city, is likable.