Holidays in Garbage
The trickle-down theory is how I can tell holidays in my world. I work in the solid waste industry. I pick up the garbage produced from a small university. Each new season brings new blossoms. New Years brings empty champaign bottles, heavy glass and plastic corks; Valentine’s Day we find the crumpled paper hearts. Saint Patrick’s Day gives us green beer and shiny clovers that never saw and early spring field: come Easter, the baskets and egg shells of pastel colors. Monet would be so proud.
May Day is filled with broken construction paper chains in lots of different colors. Sometimes they are stapled; sometimes they are joined by paste, puncture wounds versus paper cuts. And the week after Memorial Day, a dump-truck pours out the flowers from the cemetery on to the transfer station floor.
The Fourth of July, Independence Day gives us the smell of burned out fireworks and sour barbecued chicken added to the mingling of garbage juice in the bottom of dumpsters. If hunting season is not a holiday, we at least know it has happened by the dead game pieces in the blue dumpsters: Halloween, old costumes and crushed or melting pumpkins.
Thanksgiving is filled with bones, turkey bones rotting on the top of the pile. Then comes Christmas with old toys the week before and then all the pretty wrapping paper, mixed with the rest of the garbage. The dead pine trees are a bonus.
These are the high water marks that happen each cycle of the year. Every day in garbage is a holiday, because garbage never takes a holiday.
first published through Triod.com: taken from “Some Notes on 21st Century Sorcery”.