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(Part 7 written by me.)
Excitement filled him as he contemplated the completion of the machine. Work on it had taken a few furious months of stealing, pilfering and borrowing, and then building it until the wee hours of each day.
Most of the time, Charlie did not the hard work. During his career as a welder, he had worked hard, trying to keep their collective heads above water. Welding was never a glamourous profession but one he had enjoyed every day he had done it. He knew that he could have made more money doing almost anything else, but Irene was always there and always supported his decision.
There was something ultimately exciting in the act of welding; of making two pieces into one; that fascinated him. It made shapes that were unique and became something different, something useful, something beautiful in its functionality.
He nejoyed his work so much so that he created weld-art in his spare time. Irene had named it that. For him, it was a way to unleash the inner creative in him without looking like some big pansy man in front of his mates – all workers doing jobs like tree cutting, mechanical work or farming. He did not need to damage his reputation by saying he was an artist. So Irene had done it, and his mates accepted it. One or two of them had even said they liked it.
Irene loved it all, and was proud of him, refusing to sell any piece even though there had been some very generous offers from time to time. So they stayed broke but had an enjoyment in their love for each other and life they had made for themselves.
That was until the spectre of disease intruded into their happy, little world. Irene’s descent had been as quick as it had been devestating. Building the machine meant Charlie could avoid, and almost forget about the Alzeimers.