Friday, January 10, 2020

"Trash Vigil"

Written Friday, December the 20th, the last trash pick-up day before Christmas.

7:15 A.M.

I do not how I got this assignment.  Is it because Dr. M does everything else besides changing the bulbs and winding the clock?  I guess that’s a possibility.  (Although I hesitate to inquire.)

In any case, here I sit by the roadway outside our house, poised to fulfill a year-end “Holiday Tradition”:

Presenting boxes of candy to the tripartite trash pick-up team in our area – “Actual Trash”, “Recycling” and “Yard Waste.”

(SUDDEN “CONSPIRACY INSIGHT”)  Could the candy stores be behind this division of garbage – once one box, and now three?  Just asking… I mean, can you truly trust people who have not really come clean about sugar?)

I’m not even sure the trash people want candy.  How exactly do they even divvy up the box?  “I’ll take the nuts.  You take the nougats”?  

I get it; it’s a “gesture.”  They remove our detritus.  We give them cavities in their teeth. 

Anyway, here I am, waiting to give garbage men candy.

(During this annual “Distribution Ritual” I have seen nary a single garbage woman.)

(Note: In case you were curious, direct personal involvement is necessary – rather than leaving the boxes on the top of the trash bins – due to concerns that the candy might otherwise fall to unintended recipients. With likely destructive consequences.  Though some of their enclaves appear “Fully Loaded”, there is no assurance of the availability of homeless dentists.

7:30 A.M.

No action yet. 

But I have gotten a lot written.

7:46 A.M.

Large vehicle street traffic, but no trash trucks.  If they don’t show soon, I am thinking of giving candy to bus drivers.

Wait.  I have spoken too soon.

7:51 A.M.

My first “action” of the day.

“Actual Trash.”

It is only one man, so he gets the whole thing.  Short and sweet.  We exchange “Merry Christmases”, and off he goes.

My job is one-third complete.

You ask, why do I wait outside?

I once waited inside and I missed the sound of the truck.  This caused me to belatedly dash outside and race down the street to catch up.  (I was past seventy at the time.)  I had not run that fast since High School.  And then, Mr. Kelly was yelling at me.

8:05 A.M.

I look up the street.  Is that a lumbering green vehicle heading my way? 

No.  It is a “Trash Truck Mirage.”

Well, at least it’s not cold.
Sorry... everywhere.

8:22 A.M. 


8:37 A.M.

Glory be!

“Recycling” has arrived!

We exchange holiday niceties.  I ask about “Yard Waste.”  He says not for an hour.

By the way, they are apparently now down to one trash worker per truck.  Should we be think smaller boxes of candy?  Nah.  That would be Scroogey.

8:44 A.M.

I am going inside.  Temporarily.  “Yard Waste” always comes late.  I’ll be back.  I am one box from “Mission Accomplished.”  Can’t quit when I’m that close.

9:02 A.M.

I’m back.  Fleeting thoughts of remaining inside, but I cannot abandon my post.  No one’s depending on me.  And I can’t let them down.

The wait is long.

But I have brought out a paper.

9:34 A.M.

Bored.  Newspaper predictable.  Scary, but predictable.  The long dwait sends bad thoughts running through my mind.  Forget candy.  “Let them eat ‘Yard Waste.’”

9:57 A.M.

I am now on the porch.  It has a bench with a back.  Despite years of pilates, my “core” muscles remain too weak to hold me erect.

10:27 A.M.

I feel like Jimmy Stewart in The Spirit of St. Louis.  I have to slap myself to stay fully alert.

12:02 P.M.

Job done.

Merry Christmas, Trash Guys.

And thanks for this post.

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