Friday, June 22, 2012

The fresh air

My whole apartment smells like smoke, and my jaw hurts. I don't know if the two are related – I mean, I'm sure the two are related. Everything was fine after I went on my walk in the rain – I love walking in the rain, everything looks so beautiful. People even stopped to compliment me on my coat, this one guy who was gardening even said listen, I'm a straight guy from Chicago, should I call you ma’am or sir?

He was cutting a line in the grass, which is very popular in Seattle. Everyone likes to make sure that the grass isn't growing onto the sidewalk edge – you see gardeners out there day after day with these machines that cut the edge of the grass. But, this guy was doing it by hand, because the property owner he works for likes it better that way, even though it takes four hours or more instead of an hour or so. Sounds like a good plan to me – I keep hearing those stupid machines. Although at least they're doing something – the leaf blowers, those should be banned! Spewing toxic fumes while blowing the leaves to the other side of the street so that they can blow back, what a great idea.

Anyway, the smokers: sitting directly under the awning in front of the building, which is right beneath my bedroom window. I want to yell out at them, but I'm guessing that won't be effective. So I'm literally in the closet, leaving the building manager a message, for the third time, which isn't that many times really. I mean the third time in three months. But why am I in the closet? I guess so the people outside don't hear me – because, if I want them to hear me, then I should just go out there, right? But I don't think that will be effective. Do you see how this just circles in my head, wrecks me with pain. I even went to feldenkrais today – wasn't that supposed to help?

For some reason the building owner doesn't want to put a sign up telling people not to smoke near any doors or windows. There's a park next door, and an abandoned lot behind the building, but smokers can't possibly be bothered to walk an extra 30 or 40 steps, right? So I'm fantasizing about cutting through the awning and throwing urine on them, or just getting a fire extinguisher and directing it their way. I know – that would work pretty well.

But what do I do about this headache, jaw ache? Do I have to leave my apartment so that I don't smell the smoke? It's worse on weekends, because some of these people just sit outside drinking their beer and smoking into my nostrils. I just want to smell the fresh air again.


Jeremy Redlien said...

One of the gifts my mom gave me is a lifelong hatred of leaf blowers. I never understood them myself, doesn't the extra energy needed to carry them around outweight (ha ha) the little extra exhertion needed to wave a rake around?

I think my favorite was when my dad and grandma were up and renting this camp on a lake, my dad was worried that brushing the debri on the dock into the water would be bad for the lake or something. I mean it's not like this debri would not have fallen in the lake anyways...

An hour or so later, I find him using a leaf blower to blow the debri onto the land around the dock. Yeah, that's totally so much better for the environment.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Jeremy, I love this story – thanks so much for sharing! We must start a movement against leaf blowers…

Love –

Anonymous said...

I'll join the movement. I think that leaf blowers are a lazy way of doing a lawn. The lawn needs the rake to scratch up the dirt and scratch out old grass. Grass is always better when scratched up a bit. Of course the noise oh how I hate noise. Can't escape it around here when they blow the grass and the smell how I hate the smell when it gets in my home.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yay -- the movement is on :)