Thursday. Trash day. I walk along the
sidewalk past garbage cans heaped with refuse. A deer lay on its
side, adorned in white Christmas lights, metal legs bent backwards as
it waits to be scooped up and tossed into the back of the garbage
truck. On this trash day, I walk past stuffed animals; plastic toy
kitchens; empty hamster cages.
At around six o'clock every Wednesday,
a man drives through my neighborhood, inspecting the wares.
Occasionally, he'll stop to claim a bike or a table and load it into
the bed of his truck.
Now, the wind picks up and sends
garbage blowing down the street: newspapers; discarded Christmas
cards; empty cans and plastic milk jugs. As it blows past, I wrestle
with myself, part of me saying I ought to pick up the trash, the
other part saying it does not belong to me. It is not my
I claim no innocence in this tossing.
My cans, too, overflow with the stuff of life and of death. Plastic
bags of dog waste, neatly knotted. Tissues. A bathroom sink.
Trash day reminds me of all we have
purchased to make our lives simple; to entertain ourselves and to
distract our children. We buy to fill ourselves up and end up empty.
Trash day reminds me of that we have
wasted; all we have willingly thrown away.
Labels: Consumption, Creative non-fiction