During our rooftop gardening group today I could not seem to escape the smell of port-o-potty — it seemed to be following me and man, it was awful. It was not until after I mentioned it aloud that I realized it could very well be one of the many residents sweating in the sun as we pulled weeds and replanted and I felt terrible. On my hands and knees I continued to pull out roots, with an effort to ignore the stench (let’s be honest, it’s not the first time my nose has been accosted here) until one resident went over to a big plastic pipe coming from through the roof and began inquiring about it. Not knowing myself, I sort of half-crawled/ half-walked over it to check it out, admiring his curiosity. As I moved closer the smell got more pungent and assuming it was my resident, I held my breath. I got right up next to the pipe and as I did I could hold it no longer and let it out only to gulp back in with immediate regret, as within seconds I realized it was connected to the building’s sewage and began dry heaving so violently that I had to sit out the rest of the group for fear of completely losing it (while also thanking God I unhealthily decided not to eat breakfast this morning. While I sat back and surveyed one of my residents yelled out, “I guess this gives new meaning to the expression ‘heavin’ and hoein’!”
My residents found this hi-larious. I did not.
3 thoughts on “heave hoe.”
Came to your site via your facebook response to Lezlie Williams. Love your entries, They remind me of the stories my daughter tells me: she’ manages a home for mentally ill clients in transition. never a dull day over there either. I admire you both!
Thank you so much! I don’t doubt that your daughter has some amazing stories! I feel pretty blessed to have the opportunity to work in a place that can combine need, joy and hope into one!
Bad smells are a familiar part of homelessness (blog http:intomilkyway.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/thugs-in-starched-suits-look-good-kids-in-cardboard-box-look-and-smell-bad/).