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.
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.