Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Lone Recycler

Two months ago I was standing on my balcony getting some fresh air. It was a hot and humid night, somewhere around 11 pm. As I stood there, gulping thick air and doing my best not to take on water, I heard some tinkling down below. When I peered over the edge, I saw him. A nondescript man standing in front of recycle row. The blue bins stood in a rigid line of opposition; lids open, they appeared ready for a war of epic proportions only Mel Gibson could win. BUT, I digress. At his feet was a large black duffel bag, flap laying open, exposing the underbelly of the operation. Then, he pounced.

Cans, paper and plastic flew from the bowels of the bin, bagged bits of yesterday destined to become this winter's gortex. Like a maniac, lacking only a rebel yell, the lone recycler dove in after his booty. At this point, I'm enthralled. Sad, aren't I? He violated bin after bin, disturbing carefully placed reusables in his quest. Periodically, he emerged, triumphant, running back to the duffel bag with one thing or another, until it was full. Spent, he carefully replaced each wayward item, grabbed his duffel bag and disappeared into the night.

Last month, I stood on the balcony once more. I think this time, I was attempting to escape the thick stuffy air from inside the apartment. As I stared up at the sky and cursed my existence waxed philosophical, I heard that familiar sound of displaced refuse. I quietly leaned forward again and peered down at recycle row. There he was again, the Lone Recycler, raping and pillaging this weeks discard. The duffel bag was barren, laying in wait for the bounty to come. As I watched disbelievingly, he dismantled the pile inside, neatly placing bags of recycled goods at his feet. Then, tilting the unsuspecting bin on its side, he crawled inside. As I shivered in repulsion, he scratched and clawed his way to the bottom, then popped out, triumphant, and added his find to the waiting bag. Once all eight bins had been treated, he once more picked up the bag and faded into the night.

Tonight, I stood on the balcony just because random things seem to happen when I'm out there. And then, the tell-tale tinkling began. I looked down to see the Lone Recycler, clad in board shorts, mid-calf rise work boots and a parka. Yes, I am aware I live in Canada. But a parka? It's 30 degrees out there! Full winter regalia, hood up to shield his identity, he began his routine once more. Giggling under my breath I watched him dig, set aside, replace and resume, running back and forth to his duffel bag sidekick, resuming their quest to take over the the earth. Kickin' it Green-style.

Is it wrong that I desperately desire to dump spaghetti sauce inside the bin? Will he pull out protective gear? A haz-mat suit? I'm dying to know. I keep popping out on the balcony, hoping to catch him in the act. Each time it gets crazier and crazier. I want to know what he covets! What does he fill that bag with? What is it, on the eve of the recycling day, that he cannot let go?

Sugarpants, you may be in the country, but crazy beats hick any day. Who knows... maybe next month I'll join the hunt for a green tomorrow. Parka and all.


Anissa Mayhew said...

Ok, for real...that guy is creeping me out and it's not even my trash. WTF!!

Karen Bodkin said...

Ha ha ha ha ha....that is fecking hilarious.

I'm sorry for not getting here more often but now i'm on high speed baby! i just read all your entries and holy shit - do you need anything?