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Esther McCoy | 6

"The glass", he said.
I had put a strip of glass between door height and window height in all the rooms--a transom strip. I waited; I was ready with my reasons for using the glass--to bring south light into north-facing rooms, and to see the treetops when the curtains were drawn. And another reason I wouldn't have the nerve to tell him; to make the house fly, which was, I suppose, a result of working so long on airplane wings.
But he wasn't curious about why I used the transom strips, just [[underlined]] how [[/underlined]] I had used it. The glass was broken up by the rhythm of studs. "You could have used a longer span," he said, adding almost beligerantly, "You know [[underlined]] that [[/underlined]]."
That was the most encouraging thing he could have said--that I should have known something. But the architectural standards book I had studied contained no variation on the 2X4 stud system 16 inches on center. There were other pieces of advice, and with each one I became more confident. Why hadn't I put the sofa out of the circulation flow? And why had I broken into my sheer wall?
I wanted to thank him and go home and rework the drawings. In a few days I could take them to another architect.
I said in apology, "I tried to get into USC but they discouraged me."
"The less to unlearn," he replied. "Come in tomorrow at eleven. Can you work from eleven to five of six? A dollar an hour."
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