Garbage Day Gratitude ~ Reprise
Thank you, little person, who goes through my recycling bin on trash day.
I say, person because I can’t tell if you’re a man or a woman…and it really doesn’t matter.
It’s that smile of yours that stops me in my tracks every time, reminding me just how good life really is.
Even though you are barely taller than the large blue bin you manage to get to the bottom of things. I see you digging underneath the highly top-secret, shredded documents that leave my husband’s office every week, without making a mess. You can even navigate styrofoam popcorn at the holidays without even one escaping into the gutter.
That is a talent.
I’m intrigued with you. I really am.
It can be one hundred degrees or fifty, it doesn’t matter. There you are, rain or shine, covered head to toe, dressed like a beekeeper, with your pith helmet covered in a fine gauge netting that leaves only your tanned face exposed.
Yet, you have eyes that dance with mischief and dare I say…joy?
And when you smile, which is often, I’ve noticed that you have—at the most—maybe five teeth.
You are unabashedly happy as you gather our neighborhood’s valuable recyclables. All of the plastic, cans, and glass bottles. And unapologetic, I can tell.
You take great pride in your work as you sift and sort, making sense out of chaos. You find the treasure amid the trash. I admire you for that.
I can be in the worst mood, convinced that my life sucks ass, then I drive up, see your big toothless grin, and it can change my day. You have changed my day—many times.
Because how bad can my life be? I mean, you’re happy and I’m not?
That’s a reality check.
That’s a game changer.
That’s a Universal kick in the pants.
I also suspect part of your joy and contentment comes from knowing that there’s big money to be made here.
Listen, I’ve joked a couple of times that judging from the number of wire baskets you fill with the valuable stuff that we can’t be bothered with, you probably have a Mercedes parked a few blocks away, and are wearing couture under your beekeeper’s outfit like the Saudi woman do under their burkas.
Good for you.
You provide a service we never knew we needed—and you do it with a smile.
Or, you’re medicated out of your mind. I have a cynical friend that swears nobody is that happy especially someone who rifles through trash all day, and that you must be blissed out on some really great shit.
“I’ll have what he/she’s having”, is what she always says about you.
It doesn’t matter to me.
Thank you for making me happy every damn Tuesday.