Some of the Other Garbage Bins
Poor Flick, he’ll be wondering what happened to me. I guess it’s time to move on. Yes, that’s right. It’s just a change of scenery. I’m an open individual. Literally, because I have no lid, unlike some of the other garbage bins I’m related to, and figuratively, because I’m always on the move. I have spent the last three years, since leaving The Factory, in and out of various dingy receiving areas and depots, generally out of view.
So, needless to say, the morning in which I was lifted onto a truck and carried out into the glaring sun, I was less than pleased. I should mention that my sturdy front was as beautiful as ever, but other than on that side my fresh yellow paint was no longer gleaming, and one of my Boscaro tattoos had been scraped completely off. I hadn’t realized how I much I had let myself go. Those storerooms were great hideaways. I guess the men throwing wood and boxes and plastic wrap into me had felt the same way, judging by their looks. So I, a hefty 1210 pounds of solid metal, was jostled out of my comfortable location and deposited in the back of a large building under construction.
Soon enough, two men came around the corner of the building, walking in my direction. “That garbage bin?” the farther man said.
The other man stopped and tossed a couple black bags into me. “Yeah, it’s 6’6’’ by 5’.”
“Well, sure, but it’ll fill up quickly. It’s only 5’9’’ deep!”
“Relax, Joe. It’ll get the job done.” They turned towards the door.
Before I could react to that previous insult, an object whacked my handle and caused it to crash onto my front edge. I heard a cheer and then a soccer ball rolled in front of me. “Watch it, kid!” I yelled, “I don’t have a warranty!” I didn’t get any reply, because the boy was running off to his friends on the field, and, of course, because garbage bins can’t talk.
I was right in the sun, and my metal was getting really hot. Then there was a piercing ring, and the large door of the building burst open. Boys and, what I presume to be, girls (I had only ever heard the workmen tell strange stories about people called “girls,” “women,” and “wives”) stormed out of the building. They threw their backpacks against me, kicked me with curiosity, got shooed away into the field, and generally made terrible noises.
That evening, when the noise had died down and I was lonely and abandoned in the dark, a rat scampered on top of me. I had never had many dealings with rats before, since they had always been more interested in the workmen’s lunch boxes than me.
“Say,” the rat began, “You’re a snazzy lookin’ dumpster. Got any snacks? Got any Swiss cheese?”
I was still embarrassed about my paint job, so I just said, “I doubt it, but you can take a look.” I saw his tail whisk eagerly away as he dove into my small pile of garbage.
“Hmm, just a mouldy sandwich” he said with his mouth full. “But it’s cozy in here--better than the cafeteria.”
“What’s a cafeteria?”
“Paradise, my friend. Mind you avoid the brooms and knives. Yes, sir, I’m always on the move--always optimistic. The name’s Flick, what’s yours?”
“I guess people call me 83447. Or That Garbage Bin.”
“Nice to meet ya, Bin.” I felt him scratch my side, curl up, and then he was silent for the rest of the night.
The next morning started bright and early. I was awakened by workmen throwing wooden flats and plaster chunks into me. Flick made a run for it just in time. The day went on as usual. There was more trash, more sun, more loud boys and girls on schedule. They ate their lunch in front of me, talking about weird things like French and Geometry, and then were shooed out into the field again. Flick came back in the evening, though, and he explained their conversations.
The next day was just as odd but much more entertaining. There was more trash, more sun (and some rain and thunder), and the loud boys and girls were all wearing various colorful uniforms. Flick told me they were called costumes, actually.
The day after that I began to enjoy myself. The days started to fly by, and suddenly the trees were leafless and the air was cold. I was sitting in the back of a construction site, but there was so much to look at and notice. Flick had seen it all--parks, balconies, sewers. I listened to his stories for hours and hours every night.
Then one evening, from what I remember, Flick was in the middle of telling me another exciting story. He was saying “And then,” when his stomach rumbled. “Well, I guess that means I’m off for my bedtime snack in the cafeteria. Catch ya later!”
“Avoid those brooms and knives!” I said, looking forward to his return.
Flick took longer than usual, so I started to get pretty tired. I hoped he had found some Swiss cheese after all. I had just dozed off, when I felt my handle being attached to a crane, as it had been many times before. I was lifted into the air, shaken, relieved of 7055 pounds, dropped, loaded onto a truck, and was speeding down a shiny, wet highway before I fully knew what was happening.
Now here I am. Lonely in a dark, unknown building--but I guess this is the job of dealing with other people’s garbage. In a few hours a corrugated metal door may be screeched upwards, and I may discover that I have been hauled into paradise. More likely than not it’s just another depot, but I’ll try to stay optimistic. That would make Flick proud. I have a long life ahead of me.