It was a beautiful day, I had a little energy, and was way behind in the garden so I called in and asked if I could come to dialysis late. Normally I go in at 3 PM but got permission to come in at 5 PM instead. Normally by 3 I am exhausted and that time works for me but that day 5 could happen.
One thing I did with the extra time was to clip a few sprigs of Daphne odorata an extremely fragrant shrub that throws its scent even when cut. I took it to dialysis to suck up to the nurses. Sucking up to people who have large needles is in my own best interest IMHO.
There are 16 chairs in the dialysis unit 8 on each side separated by a low wall. I was at one end of the room and the nurses station was at the other. After 7 PM the 3 o’clock shift of patients had left and I was by myself on one side of the room.
Then, though I couldn’t see it behind me, the nurses noted that a puddle was forming. They called maintenance who came promptly. They cleared the clog but as it is a two story building, there came a rush of sewage smell water that formed a small lake around me. The maintenance men asked if I could be moved but the answer was no.
Each patient has a card, larger than a credit card, with a chip on it. All your info is stored on that like what size needles to use, history of your weigh ins and weigh outs, what medicines to administer through the IV etc. It records each session . They said that the computers on each machine don’t talk to each other so once you start a session with one you can’t be moved.
So there I was in the middle of sewage smell. They pulled me as far from the wall as my cords would stretch but that was it.
The nurses were all huddled at the far end of the room. They said they were grateful I had brought the flowers because that scent was masking the malodorous. They also repeatedly expressed their regret I was stuck in the middle of it. It took about a half an hour to clean it up.
In the meantime I assured them that this wasn’t the worst I had smelled. While the list is long, here are a couple of examples.
Sonny Neibergall had built a small hog confinement facility on a farm next to us. They lived on concrete and their manure fell into a pit below and he washed the floors with a hose so the waste was a liquid. He had an 800 gallon tank for spreading it that took him 15 minutes to fill. At that time we aslo dealt with our cow manure as a liquid so we had a 2000 gallon tank I could fill in 7 minutes.
As he realized he wasn’t going to be able to keep up spreading we cut a deal, I would spread his manure in exchange for keeping half of it. Calculating out the value of the plant nutrients in the pig manure, it was profitable for me to do so. Eventually as he didn’t have enough land to absorb all his manure, I ended up getting the greater portion of it.
But pig manure stinks, much more so than the sewage at dialysis. The nose is merciful and after about 30 minutes it says screw this I am leaving and you don’t smell it anymore but it is bad for a while.
Another scent adventure I had was over at old Nandagram while disking some corn ground. As I was doing rounds on the field I was getting the full range of experience in the material world. At one end there was an autumn olive blooming which throws its scent and is heavenly, like you are bathing in it.
At the other end of the field was something dead and in the worst state of putrefaction. I had too much ground to cover and too little daylight so I didn’t venture into the woods to see what it was but based on the volume of reekage it had to have been a deer.
It made me contemplate how while there is some enjoyment in the material world, you also have to take the unpleasant along with it. This is motivation to do right things and accept the mercy of the great souls so we can escape the samsara, the cycle of birth and death, and go back home, back to Godhead where we can get the autumn olive without the corpse.
Anyway, I assured the nurses I had been through worse, I could cope with a little sewage and soon it was over so permanent damage done and hey, something to write about.