Friday, December 19, 2003

The Tell-Tale Stench

We went to California in October for a relative's wedding. In the days before departure, I was dashing all over the place trying to get my ducks in a row and thus I ate a lot of fast food and threw the bags on the floor of my truck. I meant to dispose properly before leaving town, but I never got around to it. About two hours into the drive to California my husband said "your truck is gonna smell like a french fry when we get home." I confidently retorted "naaaah, I don't even order french fries when I get fast food."

For the entire trip, I didn't drive a single time, and I spent endless butt-numbing hours riding around in the suburban. Oh, we saw wonders--Yosemite, Sequoia National park, The Golden Gate, IKEA --but no seat is that comfortable for that long. I was thrilled when we returned home and I could drive my own little jalopy again.

The first morning home, the air had that crisp clean bright-blueness that is ideal fall weather, and my feet felt positively bouncy as I strode up to my truckie and opened the door, only to be flattened by a hideous odor. I was baffled--this eye-watering stink was not french fry in origin--this emanation was clearly animalian in origin, dead in condition. WTF??? I drove across the parking lot to the dumpster and disgorged the cab of the bags, one by one, wary of any wet sludgy bits I suspected were lurking. To my dismay, at the bottom of the pile was a container from KFC with partially devoured chicken carcass within. Not just bones, but lots of meat, too, rotting its little anaerobic brains out. Nice. The bottom of the container was plastic, but that seemed to matter not at all to the carpet, which greedily sucked up the olfactory aspects of the festering ooze. Two months later and my truck still stinks. Occasionally I will douse the carpet in Febreze and for a few days it will smell all detergent-perfumey, but then the miracle of modern chemicals loses the battle and the odor extends its putrid tentacle to announce its presence. "Yoohoo? I'm still here." Where is Edgar Allan Poe when you need him?

Friday, December 05, 2003

Two people of my acquaintance died Tuesday. Both were under 40. Their wakes and funerals are at the same time, which seems an appropriately sad conflict. Today grief feels like my head wants to split open to liberate the tears my eyes refuse to cry.