Fierce Smell

Dear J-

There’s a fierce smell on the train this morning – I could hear the conductors’ involuntary cries of disgust as they opened the connection doors and stepped through. When I got on the bathroom door was wide open, though I’m not sure if it was in order to ventilate the bathroom or to enstinkerate the rest of the car. Mission accomplished. I closed the door, meaning the next unfortunate soul who has to go may pass out when entering that confined space, but if it lessens the burden on everyone else, so much the better. Yeah, the stench: it’s really not getting much better, is it? I like to think the eye watering is not due to that but rather simply allergies, but I may be wrong.

When we learned about confined spaces we were told that one of the dangers was hydrogen sulfide gas, which is caused by decaying flesh, and we might encounter that when we went into places where sea life could reach, like the tunnels and intake structures; I still well remember the first (and only) time I got to go into the intake, and what it meant to do so, with extra training and permits but then once you were in those waders and with a tiny flashlight piercing the dark of some unimaginably large concrete grotto/cathedral encrusted with shellfish

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