Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Time & Tide

Well talk about a few rough days! We have had a few days where the weather has not been nice, actually downright hot would be more like it. The weather has been responsible for us not getting to the park this week since Monday. It has kept us awake at night for it’s too hot to sleep, even with a/c.

Today really kind of capped it all off. This morning we were up bright and early getting ready for rehab, Elizabeth had gone out to load the truck, that’s when the phone rang and all hell broke loose, so to speak.

We have a guy who lived in an upstairs apartment who is normally a creature of habit, the kind that you can set your clock by.

A week last Monday he missed doing his laundry, he missed again this week. When I came to think of it, I really hadn’t seen him around in a while now, not that he is my favorite person. I digress, this morning the phone rang and bedlam seemed to break loose outside. Very quickly the super’s truck arrived followed by quite an entourage. There were police cars everywhere along with ambulances and a fire truck, and finally an office rep.

John was on the phone to ask me if I knew this guy upstairs had died? I flipped back, of course not or else I would have phoned you!

Well the bottom line was this guy upstairs that you can set your watch by, wouldn’t be setting anything anymore, it seems that he passed away at some point in the last two weeks. Judging by the decomposition and the smell that permeated throughout the whole neighborhood, it had to be 10 or11 days since he died. The weather of course because of the circumstances made things around here downright awful, to say the least. Talk about gag!

The wife wrote this account for a forum she visits, I think it's worth reading here too. :)

A Weird day……

I went outside to start loading the truck with rehab gear…..noticed an unusual quite sickening smell in the air….went around the building and there were police cars, ambulances, fire trucks etc.

We live in a 2 story 12 plex…..apparently one of the tenants upstairs had phoned the super about a garbage smell this morning… turned out to be his neighbor...who had died.....about 10 days ago….the man lived alone, and like many, had no relatives or friends.

The apartment had been shut up and when they opened the windows….well, you can imagine…..I had to make several trips back and forth outside with stops for gagging….I am so thankful that we are on the bottom floor at the far end of the building where there is no odor. Got Eric out for rehab….said he couldn’t smell a thing….I think this has something to do with his 02.….When we returned 3 hours later the coroner had just arrived….the tired super followed us in and had 3 cups coffee (we always keep a can of Tim’s for him), gave a grisly description of the body (Eric wasn’t amused), and I gave the super some vicks for his nose (a nurse told me about this trick to mask smell) and cold spring waters to take out for the workers. They had spray cans that they used on their clothes after being in the apt… took out(or masked) the odor. One young fireman said it was the worst body he’s ever seen.

Today I learned what a decomposed body smells like…..I hope I never smell that again…..I hope none of us die alone…..


The poor wife insists that she has this ‘decomposing dead guy in her nose,’ ~ this odor, that she cannot get rid of.

I told her that the mind is a powerful thing and if she thinks real hard about steak & onions cooking, pretty soon she won’t be able to get the smell of onions out of her nose! My poor honey. She of the weird dreams and now the probing proboscis.



Gretchen said...

What a horrible thing to wake up to. :( Even sadder that the man was dead that long and nobody new or cared. I'm so thankful for my family. We're very close and even though they drive me insane on an almost daily basis, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

Eric Valentine said...

Yes Gretchen, it is a terrible thing being alone and would seem unwanted.

It just shows these things can happen when we least expect ~ family can be useful at times, even if they do drive you bonkers at times. :)

Have a great day and thank you for visiting again. :)

newnorth said...

That is terrible. I guess I shouldn't complain about not being able to find a parking spot today. Darn (I probably will anyway)

I hope Elizabeth gets the guy out of her nose soon.

Eric Valentine said...

You R funny Newnorth, parking spot indeed. :)

Elizabeth has now recovered and the nose is free of debris! LOL

PipeTobacco said...


A very vivid and useful post. While I have been fortunate to not have that odor except for a mild, mild form of it in a poorly preserved cadaver in a teaching lab one time, I do indeed know that unfortunate smell as it is the same as a decaying carcass of any animal, large or small.. and in a research lab that occurs occasionally.

To me, the post just reconfirms the vital need for NOT being TOO MUCH of a hermit, no matter how tempting. Even without direct family, a person must make an effort to have regular friends (a type of family) that we interact with daily.

To me, the story is horribly sad for the fellow who died... not so much about his passing, or about the condition his body was in when found... but because of the time BEFORE his passing when he was so alone, so isolated, that no one cared about whether he was here or not. The death itself was not as harsh an event as the length of time (be it days, weeks, months, or years) that he had no real, vital contact with a person who cared about him. It brings tears to my eyes... it is akin to being in an utter void.

Thank you for the reminder that you give with this post.

You may at first be surprised at my image... but I finally decided to change it (at least for a spell) to the one I now have.


Eric Valentine said...

Pipe, I thank you so much for your visit and your very enlightening post. I can see where you as a teaching professor in the lab can see things that the normal every day person would not.

It is so true as you say about the being a hermit part. In this case ironically this man was one that you would see many times daily. It became that he was almost a part of the wallpaper so to speak, and in that respect. As a result even though he was there he went unnoticed... That is the real sad part to all that. In hindsite everyone were saying, mmmmmmm now when did I last see him? Nobody could remember. Such a sad reality of many ocassions in life I feel.

I like to get a little chuckle out of such things as the image pipe. :)
It's all in the eyes and what they are saying, very piecing you could almost say. Have a good night professor we will talk again perhaps. :)

Once more thank you for the visit my friend.

drips of paint said...

What an experience...that I would not want to go through...

good post to remind me that an occasional hello to some neighbor who seems not the friendly type is in order....everyone has his own story behind them I guess...and it is alright if they chose to be a hermit ... hope he is in heaven now with company

Sorry about the heat and having to miss outing....hope rehab is going well and wife is smelling steak again.

I do not think we are as hot as you are over there but I am painting with only my boxer everyday.

take good care!

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Tim,

Thanks for dropping by. No that isn't a very nice thing to have to deal with.

He was a big fellow, around 300lbs like a huge beach ball. He kept himself pretty much to himself a lot.

It has been very hot up here this last couple of weeks, on that day they found the guy it was 40c with the humidity, in the building it felt like 115f.

Nothing wrong with painting in your shorts Tim. LOL

I think the wife now has her nose back to normal! ;)

Singing Stream said...

Oh my goodness...(((((Elizabeth))))) Liver and onions huh? hehe

Eric, thank you for the great writings here in your blog...I love them. It's like having a cuppa tea with you and your lovely wife.

Love and Blessings, Laurie

Eric Valentine said...

Singing Stream! nice to see you here again, yes I like liver n onions too. LOL

Thank you so much for your always kind words of my writing it's always so encouraging and appreciated. :)


Singing Stream said...

There's the best Eric, and then there's all the rest my dear friend. You are the best. My Love to you and Elizabeth...always.

I believe it was Myth Maker that posted a picture in the forum of a tombstone she saw in Finland when she was there. It was the one they put up for all those that had no one, and no one to visit their grave. This way, everyone that stops to look at it, and reads it, and it was rather differently shaped, paid respects to those folks. Nice idea...:^D

Eric Valentine said...

Hi SS yes I remember seeing that stone when I was lurking recently.. A very touching tribute.. :))

swenglishexpat said...

That would put you off your breakfast, wouldn't it?

Eric Valentine said...

Hi Swen, I guess you could say that! The poor super who had to go in and identify him never ate all day.. :(