Yeah. You read that correctly. Taking out the trash.
“Is this some weird new kink of yours?” you might ask. “Some new kind of germy play?”
Nah. I won’t judge anyone who gets sexual thrills from banana peels and empty egg cartons, but that’s not my scene.
I mean the literal, prosaic, workaday packaging and disposing of trash.
I have small garbage cans, on purpose. Several times a week, I tie a plastic bag (sorry, environment) and set it near my front door. On my way out, I drop the bag into the garbage can outside. It would probably make more sense to have one large garbage can with a deodorizer stuck under the lid, but I prefer the frequent disposal method (sorry again, Mother Nature).
I’m a horrible environmentalist, except for my conservative consumption. I consume very little, but I don’t recycle what I do consume. (For hate mail, please address your letters to 5001 North Pole Avenue, c/o Mrs. Claus.) I always mean to gather my recyclables and cart them to the local recycling bins, but it’s all I can do to keep my trash in the appropriate containers and empty them regularly.
Some people have fancy-doodle waste management systems. Color-coded plastic bins for each kind of recycling, tuck-away storage for the bins, and the strongest, toughest, easiest-to-use garbage bags with built-in yellow twist ties. They lovingly wash each glass and plastic container, peeling off the label to scrub away the gummy adhesive underneath. After making each piece clean enough to reuse, they sort everything according to weight, color, and the first letter of the city in which the glass or plastic was manufactured.
Me? I swish my milk jug out with water, put the cap on, and roll my eyes to the heavens in a brief apology.
Sorry, environment. If I must be punished for this, can it be anything but the cane?
It would be better if I recycled diligently. (It would also be better if I used fewer adverbs…) It would be better if I did a lot of things. If I worked out at the gym more often, ate healthier food and fewer sweets, got regular sleep, returned all of my library books on time, organized my mail, cleaned out the clothes in the closet I never wear, stopped buying so many books, went grocery shopping before the cupboards were bare…
Instead, I tie up my little grocery-store plastic bag filled with garbage and toss it into the dumpster. I square my shoulders, scuff my shoes against the sidewalk, and smile to myself as I put my car keys into the door lock.
Packaging for a book delivered months ago? Gone. Stained recipe cards that needed to be replaced? Poof. Advertisements and junk mail I never wanted in the first place? Bye-bye.
I can’t do everything, but I can slowly eliminate the things in my life that don’t earn their keep. “Friends” who disappear the moment I need help? Gone. Negative energy from those who disapprove of how I live my life? Poof. Judgments and advice from well-meaning loved ones who truly believe, in their heart of hearts, that they are expressing love? Bye-bye.
By tossing out the trash, I’m better able to enjoy what I have.
Sorry, Mother Nature. I hope you’ll understand.