Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dumpster Diving

I started my day in the dumpster.

Well, I wasn't exactly in the dumpster, submerged knee deep in garbage. It was more like a bent at the waist, tottering in mid-air, employing my go-go gadget arm, as I reached for my fallen keys in the corner of a very large and stinky receptacle type of "in the dumpster."

Of course my keys ended up in the dumpster because I didn't listen to the years of advice warning me not to carry too much. Rather than make two trips, I decided to fill my arms with awkwardly balanced items. And those awkwardly balanced items did as most awkwardly balanced items do--they wobbled and bobbled until they all fell down.

I blame this partially on the fact I am carrying around two sets of keys--one for my condo, the other for my rental car, a lovely byproduct of my 15 mph fender bender with a guy who decided to gun it rather than to inch out into the intersection. I held the car keys in my left hand, with my mug of coffee and lunch bag, and I held the trash, a container of snack nuts and my condo keys in my right hand. As I wound up to toss the trash into the mouth of the beast, my condo keys caught the edge of the plastic bag and managed to plummet to the base of my arch enemy.

When I move, I will not miss that dumpster. I will not miss the thunderous gong of his Monday morning emptying, or the flies he attracts in the summer. While it has provided an onslaught of entertainment, I will also not miss the over-indulged festival goers who feel comfort in their effort to congregate around his opening just in case they need to dig for styrofoam boxes containing four day old carryout food, or even worse, those in need of a receptacle for what ever gurgles in their stomach or desires to escape their bladder.

And while I appreciate the spirit of the people who are looking for free food and refurbishable furniture, I will also not miss waiting for the dumpster divers to get out of the middle of the road so I can make my way through the alley and into my parking spot. But mostly, I will not miss the times I have accidently found myself in position to do some dumpster diving of my own, all because I didn't want to make two trips through the parking lot, and managed to toss my slippery keys directly into a mound of gritty, foul smelling trash.

But I have nearly a month to go before I am home free. I have a month to go before I have a real trash can outside my door, and a parking spot inside my garage. I have a month to go before I am entirely absolved from the possibility of beginning my day extending my fingers in a slow-motion-montage type of moment, only to watch my object of desire tumble speck by speck through the air and into the very thing I most seek to avoid.

It was bad enough to lose my keys, to dig through coffee grinds, banana peels and sour beer, but it was even worse that mid-effort, as I focused my energy on the fleeting rescue of my keys, I managed to subsequently release the grip on the mug of coffee held in the clutch of my left hand. As my keys tumbled, so did that coffee, smashing plastic against concrete with the force of utter devastation, launching slivers of hot heaven through the air and directly onto the fabric of my crisp, white pants.

And so, without time to change, I had to arrive to school with brown stains on my white pants, fingers flaked with nasty residue, and a foul dumpster stench laced across the base of my nostrils. Even worse, I had to deal with all of it sans a capsule of warm, nurturing caffeine.

I scowled at that grimy little dumpster when I came home today. He claimed me on Christmas Eve and Tax Day. I'll be ready when my birthday rolls around; I'm going to load my car the night before.


  1. This is funny. And I find it perfectly appropriate that you made the dumpster a man... it only added to the humor.

    1. :) Haha. I didn't do that intentionally. Nice catch.

  2. Definitely a rough way to start your day!! I hope it got better from there. :)

  3. Whoa, welcome back! Lots of changes. Congrats on the new place and the babies! And sorry about the fender bender. And the dumpster. And the stench. LOL. So nice to read your writing again. Doing some writing of my own (taking a class, not on my blog). Would love to share some stuff with you soon! Hugs, B.

  4. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I'd love to read your stuff. I'll send you a message on FB with my email address. :)