Sunday, September 21, 2008

mmm, sulfur!

i'm a writer for a music website called jamsbio. well, sort of. i was a beta writer. once they stopped paying for contributing, i kinda quit doing it. more important phish to phry. the premise of the site is that certain songs are linked to memories in your life. listen to a song, tell a story to go along with it. interesting concept, no?

whilst on a bicycle ride today, mind a-wandering, i connected another sense to memories. the beginning of my ride was hella fun. zipping along a paved path, twisting alongside four mile run in breezy wooded glory. much fun. except for that god-awful smell. sulfur. it immediately linked to several happier memories in my past. thank goodness! here it is, my moment of zcent.

the ball fields in north lauderdale were next to the water treatment plant. every fall (or was it the spring?) i played ball in the asphyxiating stench of sulfur used or released in the treatment of raw sewage. i loved playing baseball, bad as i was, so my young mind came to associate that smell with baseball. the smell of the non-potable sprinkler water used municipally at most city and county parks always brought me back.

when we moved to coral springs in the last month or so of fifth grade, i quickly realized that living less than a quarter mile from the treatment plant would put that smell in my nostrils for the majority of the days i played front lawn baseball or football or rode my bike. it was then that i also started camping in boy scouts. any of you that've been to camp seminole in davie (few in number for sure!) know that the water we were supposed to drink and clean with was tainted by the same resident of number 16, periodic table. it took a few years before my taste buds would adjust to the shock of such a vile elixir, nevermind my body to the simultaneous shock of a cold outdoor shower and the sensation of not getting clean in tainted water.

i'm not really sure where the stench came from today. dog poo fermenting in four mile run. industrial runoff along west glebe road. stagnating water. straight up raw sewage. who knows. all i can say for certain is that, pretty as it was, i'm probably going to avoid that route until it cools off and that cooked putrid olfactory assault subsides to less nausea-inducing levels.

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