Cider tanks and paint fumes

Time management is back on track according to my new schedule. In my capacity as writer/editor/proofreader I am working on the final touches.

 Here is an excerpt of Chapter 5 of the story when adventure seeking led me into a huge hall of dirty cider tanks in Italy where I thought some visual stimulation would help to show what this was like. Three month of hard labor, paint fumes and no safety measures whatsoever. The pictures show the tanks AFTER we were done with them. Not bad!


Chapter 5: The Essence of Serendipity


Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things

which escape those who dream only by night.

~ Edgar Allan Poe ~


This was a big job. We walked into a huge hall with a stack of metal cider tanks three stories high running along both sides of the aisle. Each tank had a twenty-one-thousand-gallon (eighty-thousand-liter) holding capacity and a diameter/height of thirteen by thirteen feet (four by four meters) and a length of twenty-six feet (eight meters). The tanks were built before the brick walls and roof were constructed around them, and as a result, they were dirty and spattered with hardened concrete. Our work team consisted of four guys and me.


The world started to spin around me, though, while I worked one day. I felt trapped in a bubble where my heartbeat was loud and dominating. Other people’s voices and the music blaring from the radio fell silent. I raised my arms in slow motion and watched my feet slipping in fresh paint sliding downward as my body was slowly pulled into the narrow crack between two tanks. Suddenly, someone grabbed me and stopped me from slipping down into the darkness. It was my first experience of being high on paint fumes, and I was hanging on for dear life, nauseated and dizzy. It was Bill who saw I was losing it and who rushed up to the third floor to save me. He dragged me downstairs, and we sat outside in fresh air for a while so I could come to my senses again. I couldn’t even imagine in my wildest dreams that this state of mind would be appealing; if I ever wanted to experience new heights of being high, I would always choose adrenaline as my preferred drug.

I had to admit that this was physically hard, dirty work, but I liked living away from home in a different environment; plus I got to see a little more of Italy on the weekends. Our weekdays were dull; there was not much going on in Meran and on top of it, we all had no real desire to do any extracurricular partying because we were rightfully tired, like old people.


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