Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Thursday, June 12, 2008



I walk up and down my street a lot. Not in the pacing sense of walking or anything, 'cause that's a long goddamn pace. No, I mean, between my treks to and from the train station, my trips to the good bodega (the one right around the near corner from us is utter crap; it really is) and my thrice-daily dog walks, I burn a lot of shoe rubber on this particular stretch of road.

So I feel I have a certain level of expertise in regards to the various sensations on my block. I know how the street sounds in summer when there are leaves on the trees versus in the winter when you've just got naked branches banging together. I'm sensitive to which trees are delicate and should not be peed on by dogs nor drunks. And I've got a handle on the smells on my block.

I bring up this subject because there's a particular smell on my block that has lingered for months and months and is grossing me out/pissing me off/piquing my curiosity.

I've written before about the school across the street from us and how their garbage tends to leave disgusting piles of sour milk and food scraps which look something like the collected vomit of a dozen or so bulimic models from over a two-week period. Well that's still around. It's not going anywhere.

But now there's a new lingering presence near the school and my uncertainty over just what the fuck it is makes it that much worse.

There's no visible source for this smell. It's in a spot with a slight indentation and water tends to collect there, so there's that. But water collects in a lot of spots in the city and most of the other spots don't smell like Satan's taint. This is a smell for which you can prepare yourself, but which will still seize hold of your nostrils and rape them like a sorority girl at a frat party.

I've never gotten a whiff of a rotting corpse before, but this smell is something like what I imagine that odor to be in my most hideous olfactory-inclusive nightmares. But where could this body be hidden? And don't dead bodies eventually reach a point where the maggots and worms have made off with everything that's stinky?

My writing skills are not such that I could do a description of this smell justice. It smells like Dick Cheney's soul. It smells like the realization that you just had sex with your grandma. It smells like the death of hope and all that's good in the world. And it will not go away.

Fortunately, it only hits you for a half-dozen yards or so and then you're past it. So that's nice at least.

I think you described it perfectly. I feel like I'm there with you. And I hate you for it.
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