Monday, November 06, 2006

Misadventures on the Metro

chapter 19
One step and humidity’s suffocating arms cling tight around my body. My entry into the parking garage, deep in the bowels of the apartment building, is met with a tingling, burning sensation in my sinuses. In an instant I’m a snake charmer, seducing a serpent who weaves and slithers slowly, rhythmically through the dense air. I think of turning back, but I’ve already been stung by the hovering odor.

Moisture wells in my eyes and I’m keenly aware of the connection between my nose and stomach. This is not how I’d imagined it, not that I’d spent any time thinking of this before. Like many things the men in my life “just take care of,” I thought it sort of went away naturally with no impact on me. What’s more, I hadn’t imagined our over-priced, mega-hyped, “luxury” apartment building as this sort of place.


I’m just glad I didn’t actually see the rotting rat carcass emitting the stomach-turning fumes. And I’m thankful I didn’t forget where I parked.

Though the smell reached my nose for only a matter of seconds, my memory became permanently emblazoned with the stench. Fortunately, that particular memory was logged somewhere in the back closet of my mind until a few days ago as I entered the Metro station.

Everything felt and happened as it had before, but now I did not have the luxury of speeding away in my car. Each escalator brought me closer to the dead rodent. The gaseous fumes became more concentrated and intense.

Boarding the crowded train was a relief. I even found a seat; I began to breathe again.


Then my eyes discovered the vomit streaking down the side of the car near my leg.

The scent found my nose soon after.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, I believe I've mentioned this stink on your blog before. The brakes on the train smell like dead, putrefied, rotting rat carcasses.

Anonymous said...

once again, you have reminded me of how gloriously happy i am that i dont have to ride the metro anymore!

Chris and Becky Wickstrom said...

Sadly, I'm pretty sure this was the real stinking dead thing, not the burnt grilled cheese brakes. Ugh!