Friday, February 22, 2008

The Rolling Fish Wagon

I can describe the mornings of late thusly: steamy, thick, heavy. Winter is becoming a distant memory and the rainy season lies dead ahead.

It seems though my fellow vannies have not gotten the message.

Running late, I was the last person on the van this morning after blowing past three stop signs and barreling through an empty shopping center at 50 mph.

I pulled the van doors shut behind me and was instantly assaulted by the stomach churning stench of fish. The folks up front had the heat on, so make that the stomach churning warm stench of fish.

It is 6:40 a.m.

I want to laugh.

I want to cry.

I want to hurl.

The smell is so profoundly awful that I can't believe no one has said anything. I know when you're an adult you're supposed to be polite and ignore unpleasant smells or noises, but I am not that kind of person. I can't help myself when I'm in a public restroom and the person in the next stall farts - I always laugh.

The windows are sealed tight and the heater is on. I am so nauseous and hot I think I might black out. I glare at the temperature gauge on the instrument panel and focus on the little arrow pointed at the red line and I dearly wish it were pointed at the blue line instead. I stare at the blue line so hard that I start to believe I can move the knob telekinetically.

My watery eyes dart around the van. I look at the backs of heads and wonder who is responsible for the fishiness. My fish stench addled brain swears vengeance on whomever has subjected me to this horrible, horrible smell.

I spent the day with phantom fish smells on my clothes, hair, and hands. Even in the peanut butter sandwich I had for lunch.

It's almost time to go home but if the van still stinks, I'm walking.

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