So I live in the neighborhood of Gowanus, the area surrounding the catastrophically polluted Gowanus Canal.  This body of water is so hazardous that the EPA recently enlisted the help of the Superfund, which from what I gather is a rescue team similar to the Super Friends, only with hoses and sandbagging and Hazmat suits. So like an episode of the Super Friends where we learn about Robin's kinky sex fantasies.

 I only live there because  my street borders the very desirable Carroll Gardens, which is so pretty and brownstoney  that I almost don't mind that my future babies will have tentacles. My street, however, is mostly just car lots, abandoned apartment buildings, a gay burlesque, and a mysterious warehouse that hosts bar mitzvahs on Saturday nights.  Directly across the street there is a parking lot where many of the city's food trucks park at night. Its proximity to my apartment building assures that I am too scarred to ever eat from a food truck again.  I've seen several drug deals go down there, and the place is completely overrun with the hugest effing rats I've ever seen.  Seriously, I saw one eat a cat once.  He  just devoured him whole, lit a cigarette, and smoked it while staring off coolly into the deepening dusk.  True story.

All of this accounts for some pretty interesting noises while I'm trying to sleep.  Horns honking, vermin squealing, crackheads screaming for their fixes over the distant strains of "Hava Nagila": it's a beautiful urban cacophony.  This was completely intolerable when I first moved in, but weeks turned into months, and now I'm used to it.  Maybe too used to it.  Because this morning, when I woke up to the sound of a sparrow's blithe chirping outside my window, my first thought was Get over it, bird.  

So here's this poor intrepid bird, out there surviving in the thick swampy Gowanus air, and I'm begrudging its life-affirming song  because it's cheerful and pretty and I'm a miserable wench.  Yet for some reason it doesn't bother me when I'm awoken by two truck drivers screaming at each other in Punjabi. 

 I'm beginning to think I need to get out of the city.


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