Trash Day


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 responsibility.

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.

Opportunity. Costs.

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.


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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Trash Day

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Trash Day


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 responsibility.

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.

Opportunity. Costs.

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.


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9 Comments:

At January 10, 2013 at 7:36 PM , Blogger Sandra Tyler said...

I"m amazed at what people throw out, especially toys; that stuff could be reused but people are lazy. I miss about NYC picking through trash. Eeryone did it and took great stuff home. in the burbs, you look like a scavenger.

 
At January 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM , Anonymous Terri said...

Nice piece of writing, here. I look forward to reading more. And, yes, so much waste we humans create.

 
At January 11, 2013 at 11:33 AM , Anonymous Dumpster Rental NYC said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At January 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM , Blogger thelmaz said...

Wat a thought-provoking post. On the other hand, what about the stuff we don't wear, use, read, even look at that we can't bear to throw away?

 
At January 12, 2013 at 5:50 AM , Anonymous Kim Griffin said...

When I think of all the things that we consume and throw away and where it all goes, it makes me think of Wall-E and the heaps and heaps of trash that consumed the earth.

Humans and their toys ~ it's a frightening road to be on with a not so great end..

 
At January 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM , Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

I am removing one thing from my house every day for the year -- most of it going to charitable organizations... some... into the trash. It is hard to get rid of stuff!

BEautiful writing.

 
At January 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM , Blogger j umbaugh said...

Nice bit of social commentary. Makes you stop and think about all our "Stuff" and I would have to plead guilty!

 
At January 12, 2013 at 5:49 PM , Blogger Lia said...

This was beautifully written, and reverberates with a subtle truth all of us are unwilling or unable to see.

I nominated you for a Liebster Award!
http://yourpredefinedtaste.blogspot.com/2013/01/liebster-award-late-to-party.html

 
At January 13, 2013 at 6:44 AM , Anonymous Caitlin said...

ugh. it always makes me sad to see how much we throw away and i remember how important i thought it was to buy something AT THE TIME. i've been trying not to impulse buy as much. thanks for the reminder!

 

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