Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dumpster Diving

I knew, of course, that one day this would happen to me, that I would end up in the dumpster, though the mere idea of it tickles the vomit-trigger in the back of my throat. I mean, it's irrational I know, but for some reason, I always knew that I would actually end up in a dumpster at some point in my life. I don't know why, I don't have a fetish for it or anything.

I've fished things out of the dumpster--I mean, who hasn't? Lamps, home accessories, a half-eaten hamburger--but you don't get in the dumpster for that. Most of the time, like the lampshade I found, it's barely even touching any garbage or rotten food in there. And although there may be a few flies hanging on it, one can easily shake them off.

Also, it seems that these days, people in our neighborhood will just set the things out beside the dumpster instead of in it, as a form of recycling. I fully subscribe to this. I believe that by recycling, we can lower our carbon footprint. So, when we had decided to get a new living room set, I took the old sofa, the end tables and a few old knickknacks and left them by the dumpster in our back alley.

In order to encourage someone to take them, I even arranged the furniture and things in such a way that they could imagine how this stuff would look like in their own living rooms. I draped a throw blanket casually on one end of the sofa. I angled the end table to create interest. I was tempted to run upstairs and get a small votive candle which would be great for this look, but I stopped myself. This was junk after all. I didn't want it to look perfect.

The finished look, with the brick wall of our building as the background and our gritty alley, was not unlike some urban/derelict/loft look that I see in CB2 catalogs. In fact, I think I did such a good job, that I checked the CB2 catalog afterwards to see if they had a dumpster in there for me to buy and put in my own living room. Maybe a smallish one, painted a bright distressed orange or something.

But this morning, I had been in a hurry to get to work and I had hooked my car keys on one finger along with three bags of trash. As I threw the trash into the dumpster, the key fell off my finger.

At first, it was just sitting on top of one of the garbage bags, but as I leaned into the dumpster to try to reach for it, it slipped further down. I had only one chance to get the keys as it would be out of my reach if it moved one more inch.

But as I stood on tiptoe to reach for the keys, the dumpster moved and there it went--my keys slipped to the bottom.

For a few seconds I wondered if I really had to go into the dumpster, especially since I was wearing a nice jacket and I had a cute tie on, ferchrissakes. But, you know, this is like when some dude asks you when you're giving him a blowjob if "it isn't the biggest fucking dick you've ever seen", it's rhetorical. It isn't the biggest dick you've ever seen, but why blow the moment? So you just nod your head and wait until he's asleep and then steal his wallet.

There's only one thing that comes to mind when you're standing in the middle of a dumpster, pushing garbage around, fishing for your keys, and that's "how pathetic am I for being in here and what a fucking ass of a boyfriend do I have that I have to throw out the garbage and make me drop my keys into this shit."

It doesn't matter that it was my fault that the keys fell in, and the three bags of garbage are all filled with empty beer cans and wine bottles that I'm mostly responsible for. He's the one to blame for me standing in there, with some clammy wet thing oozing into my shoe...

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