In this heat, the trash can't sit. At my office this basic fact has become a sacred duty.
My coworkers and I find Evidence of vermin every morning. Droppings. Dead cockroaches. Things. Combating the fruit flies is a full-time job. At one point, a former colleague threatened anyone who dared leave food in the office overnight with the punishment of being tied up Gulliver-style, covered with cheese, and left until morning. The trash must be taken out. And that full-time job goes to me.
When I worked at the Java House in Iowa City I never minded taking out the trash. It was a duty universally despised by my coworkers, but for some reason I found it zen. Remove the bag, march through the back past the studyers, the coffee junkies, the people Ignoring you walking by with a gigantic bag of coffee grinds and filters, depositing said bag in a dumpster and, magically, the place is cleaner. That's why, before I leave work every day at the office, I don't mind taking out the trash.
Actually, I do this Everywhere.
At my house, I am usually the one carrying the trash can to the curb every Tuesday and Friday morning. Whenever there's a construction project that I am compelled to attend because of work, I'm always glad to clean up the site, tie up the garbage bags, and throw things into the giant green bins for Disposal.
Often, at parties, I find myself Carrying out bags of red cups, beer boxes, half-eaten slices of pizza, dirty plastic plates and silverware, scribbled notes, cans, bottles, wrappers, moldy food, broken electronics, and the debris of late furniture. It's a compulsion.
And I'm not Opposed to sorting out the Refuse either. My Green and German friends have Educated me. Plastics, glass, paper, and bio-degradables all belong to separate containers to be taken Other Places, Somewhere Else.
It's easy. A zen gesture. Probably something that, under proper scrutiny, Reveals Something about my personality, upbringing, and identity. I am, however, too lazy to make metaphors or go too deeply into self-introspection today. So, take from this what you will. In fact, take it out. Forget about it.
My friend, Paul "Canada" Nemeth, the man who saved my life once in high school, is now a poet. And he knows it, apparently. Check out his Facebook page.