Sunday, July 25, 2010

Broccoli in Plastic

Walk from fresh morning breeze after pounding the pavement, open the apartment door, surrender to a gust of musty damp warm air, cough a few times and then locate the source of the smell: a forgotten plastic bag of broccoli.

The juxtaposition of two worlds: the world of strolling down a quiet, cloister-like street and the low-ceiling world of a basement apartment, where loud, thumping footsteps wake one early each morning, pause to contemplate how worlds overlap like two intersecting circles. Each aspect of daily routine could be viewed as a mini-religious ritual. Walk down the street after drinking a large cup of coffee, unwashed hands, allowing a little culture of microbes to celebrate being spared cleansing of anti-bacterial soap and water. A brief petri-dish type world on the skin of my hands harmonizes in some sort of ecological balance to ensure the smooth flow of digestion and to enhance the immune system. An obsessive, hand washing friend had to undergo a fecal transplant in order to import helpful microbes into mashed turnip and potato world.

The bladder expands after ingesting a large coffee, one price for all sizes. It's the first time I ever attempted a large coffee, in a paper cup the size of a milkshake cup. I sat in the mezzanine, contemplated the huge container and wondered how anyone could drink so much coffee at one sitting. An hour later, the cup was empty. Fingers started wiggling, feet tapping, tongue wagging. Dance down the street, under broccoli-like tree canopies. Savor a cool stream of air slithering like a snake through the oppressive humidity, air currents doing weird things, scary clouds. Sometimes a down-burst happens, blinding rain, thunder, lightning, hail, flash floods on certain freeway access roads, where the road dips down and the sewer overflows every storm without fail. 

Hillbilly gospel music, comforting sentiments about life after death, heaven, Jesus the great hero, no depression, no care, leave the world of suffering for the home in heaven. Take me to where there's no pain, only glory and peace of mind, a land of light, no hunger, no humans tormenting humans, no aggression, a veritable utopia, as promised in good old time religion.

As for that bag of broccoli, seal the bag tight, put it in the trash. Set the trash outside the apartment, so as not to suffer from plastic, stale blood and urine, tomato sauce and vinegar, hospital-decay smell and then put it out on the curb on garbage day. The smell of broccoli and plastic clings to the fingers. Some sort of invisible glue makes smell stick to skin.

1 comment:

Steven Roberge said...

Thanks for the nice read.