I woke up early as usual on Saturday morning in anticipation of all the things
listed on my to-do-list. Visions of chores such as loading the dishwasher, loading
clothes into the washing machine and kneading biscuits from scratch all danced around
in my head. As I lay in bed, I could hear the sound of the freight train nearby as it rattled
my bedroom window pane with each turn of its metal wheel. The alarming horn blew
going from soft to loud to soft again and finally out of the audibility of my ear to detect it.
While slowly exiting my bed, I performed a lengthy stretch with my arms raised
above my head and my legs extended and toes pointed like a ballerina. With my mouth
opened wide, I took in a deep nostril inhalation and finally a long exhaling sigh enjoying
what would probably be the best quality of air that I would encounter for the day. As I
peeped outside my bedroom window, I could see a featherless red bird hopping from
one branch to another among our dozen maple trees. From past observations, I
speculated that the bird was having another dispute with one of our neighborhood
squirrels seemingly trying to claim the tree as its own.
Shortly after consuming a delicious home-cooked breakfast including hot
buttered biscuits, brown scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, buttered grits and a glass of
freshly squeezed orange juice I headed outside to wash my car. After noticing the
mailman going by in his private vehicle, I realized that it was Saturday and due to the
water usage restriction, it was not a day that I could wash my vehicle, so I decided to
just sponge off my electric car with a damp cloth to remove some of the dust and dead
beetle bugs. I worked up a sweat from this task and so I headed to the bathroom to get
a shower. I knew that since it had been an hour or so since the washers had finished
cycling that there should be some hot water available now to take a comfortable
shower. Using my energy efficient shower head, I enjoyed the pulsating warm water
dancing against my thirsty skin and spent ten minutes enjoying it, five more than the
usual week day routine. I air dried for a few minutes before finishing up with the use of
an old pure cotton t-shirt and got dressed in a black and pink athletic outfit that I
purchased from a local thrift store last week which supports a shelter for abused and
As I headed to the market, I waited patiently at the entrance to my neighborhood
for my chance to scoot across the busy divided highway. Zoom, zoom and faster zooms
could be heard as vehicles sped by, at speeds much more than the posted limits. Lots
of paper and other litter circled in the air along with black smoke from exhaust pipes of
the hurried vehicles. My eyes began to tear and my left nostril began to drain as I
coughed repeatedly trying to breathe through the fumes.
Finally, I got the chance to carefully venture out on to the main highway. I could
see piles of remnants of deceased animal body parts strewn along the highway
including a deer, a collared dog and a large raccoon that didn’t quite make it to the other
side of the rode. When I first moved to this neighborhood, ten years ago there were
trees and wooded areas all along the highway, but now you can hardly find a single
empty lot. Wildlife have to search desperately to find brush or streams for survival now.
After arriving safely at the market, I gathered my freshly washed reusable lime
green shopping bag, paper coupons, and glass bottles for recycling. I paused at the
recycling vending machine and earned two dollars for my ten glass bottles.
I used one of the dollars to purchase a newspaper to check for additional savings
to use during my shopping trip and for later use to wash windows with at home instead
of using paper towels. Just as I turned to approach the entrance, I dodged the spittle of
a tobacco dipper trying to be sure not to contract Hepatitis from the bottom of my shoe
when I later removed it.
Once inside the store, I immediately cleaned the handle of the shopping cart with
a disinfectant wipe provided by the store. I made my way towards the meat section and
pondered about buying some chicken drumsticks to cook for dinner but changed my
mind when I noted the drumsticks were the size of my forearm. I put them back for fear
of the amount of hormone that may have been used to grow them that size which also
probably explained why the butcher had a third eyebrow just above the bridge of his
nose and a small ear like projection just below the nape of his neck. It only took me half
and hour to complete my shopping trip as I had my shopping list saved to my
smartphone along with my digital coupons. I got a nice surprise when I got to checkout.
My initial total was one hundred twenty-two dollars and eighty-nine cents but ended up
being only sixty nine dollars and twenty five cents after sales, coupons and reward
dollars were used.
On the way back to my car, a few very warm rain drops splashed across the rim
of my glasses and the top of my head as I noticed a light fog and a single colored
rainbow in the distance. I thought it would be a really hard down pour from the darkness
of the sky hanging overhead but by the time I had loaded my grocery in the car it had
already stopped raining.
Once back in my neighborhood, I could see several neighbors tidying up their
lawns. Weedeaters were buzzing and lawnmowers were humming. The smell of freshly
cut grass and gasoline was seeping into my car although the windows were tightly shut. I started to sneeze repeatedly and drove a little faster to get pass the allergens. Once I
got to my garage, I noticed my neighbor, Mr. Clear, trying to make it to his box to check
the daily mail. Since I knew, he had a history of asthma I scurried over and offered to
get his mail for him and provided him with a disposable mask. He thanked me and
returned safely inside his home. I immediately let my garage door down to help block
out the smell of the pollutants.
Just as I finished unloading my grocery, I could hear a loud buzzing noise going
around the neighborhood. I peeped out my blind and I could see white spray being
emitted from the back of the truck that we labeled as “the mosquito man” coating the air.
I ran to my cabinet and put on a mask to try to prevent inhaling a full dose from the
exterminator truck. Someone drives through the neighborhood twice a year blasting
some unknown chemical that is supposed to help decrease the mosquito population
that may cause the West-Nile virus. I am not sure what adverse reaction these
chemicals cause in humans. If I had to guess, it would be some carcinogenic outcome
I removed my mask and disposed of it around thirty minutes after I could no longer hear
the truck that was spraying the area. It had been an exhausting day for me. I washed
my face thoroughly with warm water, my hand and forearms with soap and water and
settled in on my antique sofa passed down from my great grandmother. I pushed aside
the letter on the table I was writing to my legislator requesting him to implement the law
requiring inspection of all vehicles every three years for our state. I turned on the TV
only to see that permission had been given for the city to build five new hotels over the
next three years which only meant more and more trees would be destroyed. After
hearing that news, I turned the TV on mute and turned on some soft meditation music
and drifted off to sleep with dreams of living in a city with fresh, clean air.