Garbage Day

crookedsmile's picture

Tracy stood just inside her front window, peering anxiously through the miniblinds at the neighboring houses. She glanced at her watch. Five forty-two. The garbage man should be rolling through any minute. Tracy stretched her neck and surveyed the street again. Her trash can was the only one ready for emptying; its black lid yawned back, pop cans and styrofoam and toilet paper and a burned-out CPU and the door to the oven and a bunch of milk and other dairy products bursting out the top like a giant garbage pinata. All of her neighbors, Tracy saw, had left their cans primly rooted in their accustomed spots. There would be no pickup for them, it seemed. And why would there be? Even from her poor vantage point Tracy could see that the other cans were neatly closed and hollow; no sticky chicken blood on the handle, no dried vomit running down the side...

Wait! Something was happening. Tracy gulped her coffee and stared. Aha! Mr. Emersen from across the street! Tracy watched him quickly shuffle down his driveway, his oxygen tank bumping along behind him. He paused behind a tree "Old Sick Ninja In A Robe" style, gulping back the oxygen, rheumy eyes on re-con duty. He slowly made his way across the street and stood hunched in front of Tracy's can. The next thing she knew he was hobbling through his front door dragging his tank and her oven door. What looked to be a pint of plain yogurt was pinched to bursting under his left arm.

Before she could even react, other neighbors began spilling out of their houses... Armless Mrs. Teal running toward Tracy's house with empty-sleeved abandon... Jim Finnegan racing by on a kitted-out Little Rascal, hook-arm outstretched to snatch Tracy's CPU and a gallon of egg nog before racing back home, taking the curb in four-wheel drive... Mysterious Illness Allen, shriveled and weeping in the arms of his capable caretaker Vanessa, pointing weakly to the styrofoam peanuts and shrieking...

Tracy, whitefaced, closed the blinds.

"Well," she thought. "That explains it. I guess it's true: diseased people can't throw anything away."

I wrote this in careers class while I was supposed to do my project.
It's evidence that people shouldn't write when they're surrounded by nutty friends.
And they're on a sugar high from lunch.


stars and nothing's picture


Strange and surreal.. kind of nightmarish. Very descriptive.
Intriguing... where did the chicken blood some from? The vomit?
Perhaps I shouldn't ask. I'll leave Tracy's secrets in her garbage can.
Good writing.
love emily