Have you ever wondered what happens when you flush your toilet? It’s so nice and convenient that after flushing we’re given clean water with nothing to remind us of the horror that we left behind in that pure white porcelain bowl. I doubt the majority of Americans are the kind of people who are going to be thinking of their own wastes in such a context but there are times when I cannot help but wonder what happens to it all and the people that are forced to work as sewer cleaning in Bronx NY. Those men and women have to be some of the bravest people in the world, I used to think, which is what drove me into the local employment agency in order to discover first hand what kind of terrible stories they have. Stories that come from their actual worldly experiences of diving into those unholy human-carved and human-soiled depths.
When we were kids I no doubt I was the only one who used to imagine vast cities hidden within the sewers. Imagined places that were like Neverland. I used to go as far as I could into one of the access tunnels near my house but the darkness and the spiderwebs were enough to keep me from exploring the tunnels any deeper. To go into those same tunnels as an adult wasn’t much better, especially knowing that there wasn’t going to be any turning around for me. Oh sure, I might have been braver but when I found myself face to face with my first river of disgusting, goop-like sludge spilling out from sluice that served an entire neighborhood it was enough to bring me to my knees as I lost my lunch. Also my breakfast and what I’m pretty certain was the previous night’s dinner.