Friday, January 27, 2012

Hiding the Garbage Day

Its garbage day, the day I wake to the sound of heaving and grinding of gears drifting and receding through the sound of rain.   The noise always gives me a shot of adrenaline as my sleeping mind catches up with the meaning of the sound and asks "Have you put the garbage out?" in dread that, as is sometimes the case, I have forgotten.

The bump and grind of garbage day.
As the big green trucks squeeze their way around the neighborhood - holding up cars and blocking intersections - its my reminder that for all my green intentions - the recycled toilet-paper, the bulk foods, the folded cardboard boxes - without garbage day we would be swimming in our own *kerplink*.

From my warm bed, I am taken by the analogy between garbage day and meditation.  On garbage day we are faced with our accumulated yucky stuff generated by stream-of-consumption living much as  meditation shows us stream-of-mindlessness thinking. 

Unwilling to face these realities more than necessary, I stagger out in the rain half dressed in pajamas and snow-boots to put out all the cardboard we have accumulated since Christmas.  I prop it next to the huge green waste bin, the 30 gallon garbage bin and the 30 gallon bag of extra garbage since we missed collection last week with Snowpocalypse.

I look at it.   One can say that the recycling 'doesn't count.'   The leaves and food waste 'don't count' either, right?   That leaves the 60 gallons of who knows what from the past weeks.  I take it on as my karma.

Frost is sniffing.  He says "I think I have a cold" and looks downward, sighs.  It is a silent plea for me to diagnose him with illness to be off school but he isn't really sick enough for that.

[Update:  His plea became more active at 9am.  He said, "I don't like the mental image you have of me.  Its insulting" (as I implied he was hamming it up for a day off).   I questioned that.  He said "I feel pretty sick and we have PE."  I said "Well, you have a little cold but if you feel pretty sick and have PE you can stay home.  But home = Bed and home = do the homework anyway."  So, Frost is in bed.]

He and I sit at the kitchen island staring balefully out the window at our garbage knowing that pretty soon someone will come and hide it away in the earth for us so we won't have to face it any more.  At least in the most immediate sense.  Garbagageddon is always a possibility - the earth rebelling against its incarceration and, long after we are extinct, some future species doing an archaeology of our debris and wondering what it all meant.

Its time to send my roots into the earth and hide this tiredness in coffee.

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