Saturday, July 6, 2013

That Stench

That stench! That stench so strong and so pungent! I move away from him. Eventually, he leaves. Mmmmphhh! I heave a deep sigh. Eewww!!! I look around, I scan the room surreptitiously. I can't find him. Yes, he left but noo, he left the stench behind. He did. I'm repulsed. I can't breathe, I'm choking on that stench. I'm really choking. Thank God. It's my stop now. I stumble out like a drunk, like one rushing towards redemption, I run up the stairs to fresh air. I inhale deeply to cleanse myself of that stench. I walk off towards my destination. 

"Please,  i can pay up. I need more time. I lost all my money but I'm hardworking. I will get a job soon. This recession. Oh lord. M really trying. Please I am. Just give me more time."

She is crying and I look on. I wish I had some money. If I was financially buoyant, I would buy her a house. She is pretty and young. I wonder what happened. I see she can no longer pay for her apartment so she is getting kicked out. What will be her fate after? I hope she has family members. I hope she atleast has a car to stay in for a few days. I hope she doesn't have a little child to take care of. I wish life is fairer to her. I wish...

Her story.
I came from the Dominican Republic at the age of 20. I came with my uncle and his family. After I got here, I decided to go to school and got a degree in liberal arts. I got a small job that was enough for me to get by. I moved out of my uncle's house and moved in with my boyfriend. Together, we could afford the apartment and a comfortable living. He later lost his job during the recession and the pressure separated us. I struggled to continue paying for the apartment and when I could no longer foot the bills, I moved out and got a smaller place. 
Then my job began the troubles. They were beginning to feel the impact of the recession too. First, they reduced our pay, then cut off staff. Needless to say I was cut off like a withered branch of a tree left to fend for myself. With no tree, no root nor stem, I began to dry up even further. I ran from one menial job to the other. I began falling ill, thereby reducing my chances of retention at any job. Before long, I could not go on. I was kicked out just now. " I dnt want to be homeless"

At those words, the stench came arushing. Assailing my senses. I had goosepimples immediately. I looked at the young lady and imagined her with a stench . No. That will be so unfair. I had no money, nothing of my own to give to her. Maybe i tried. I listened to her. I gave her some time. Was I consoling myself or did I really do something for her?. I gave her a hug, got up and told her, "everything will eventually turn out fine". The truth is, I wasn't so sure of that. I just had to say something positive.

I began to think, " what can be the story behind those with the stench?" They probably had homes at one point. They had families. Maybe they were even dealt a very good hand at a certain time. I became scared for her. I dnt know her but I dnt wish the stench on her. I should have asked her to go back to her Uncle's but I could barely say much to her. I felt I owed her 100% of my attention. So, I just listened.

I am thinking now. What's that stench? Could it be a blatant disregard of our high handedness and callousness as a society, a reminder of our successful system but our failure as humans and our responsibilities to others? .
We can't reach out to everyone but can we look upon people with more remorse and empathy?

The stench will not go away; it stays as pungent but with a hidden story line. I still will not enjoy being where the stench is but if I have to, I wnt look on with disgust, but with empathy at the debasement that fate has forced upon a life. I will not relish the stench but I will not be full of righteous indignation. I will use it as a reminder to lend a helping hand when I can and be grateful for all mercies.

I hope she doesn't get to the point of that stench. I look at faces and pray she isn't the one with the stench.


  1. *Sigh*.....Such a deep write-up. Indeed, everyone has a story. Very very deep. You know, you are right! It is funny that people wont help when it is needed, and then when it becomes too late, they are quick to offer empathy....of what use is it at that moment, really?

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