Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NITROGEN TRUCKS WEDNESDAY, says the no-parking sign by the hospital. Today, in the spot usually occupied by the Mitsubishi Delica Star Wagon, a huge tanker truck, its back gate ajar. Frosty white mist swirls around a man working there with a huge pipefitter's wrench held between a pair of bright orange insulated gloves. A plastic face shield, too, like a welder's, covered in frost.

A frosty grey segmented hose, like one of Dr. Octopus' legs, snakes across the sidewalk to an ice-rimed intake pipe. The crusty white build-up, all sculpted and textured like an alpine cornice, looks strangely out of place beside the hospital garden's huge red rhododendrons and blooming pink azaleas.

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