Tuesday, February 22, 2005

don't really know where I'm going with this yet...

Don't really know where I am with it either.

Late March is a dangerous time to go wandering around in garbage dumps. I blame the city. It's mostly their fault for putting out too many public garbage bins. One on every street corner, two in every park; walking along the waterfront is like walking through a trashcan forest. They say it’s about litter prevention, and helps keep our city cleaner. I say it’s bordering on gross negligence. It’s one of those environmental initiatives that looks good on paper, but comes back to bite someone in the ass later on. The problem itself is environmental. Atmospheric actually, I suppose. The problem is snow.
Every time the snow piles up on the ground, it also piles up in the garbage bins. From there it freezes, and then gets more trash tossed on top of it. At the end of the week, out comes the garbage-man to collect. He takes a look, sees that the can is full, and tosses the bag into his truck; a job well done. Or so it would seem. Now what we’ve got is a garbage truck half full of garbage and half full of ice, water, and garbage juice. The truck makes its way down to the dump, and empties its load. But where does the liquid go? A little drains away, but lets face it. When its minus twenty, it doesn’t take long for liquid, even garbage juice, to freeze. What we end up with is a landfill full of buried pockets of ice, some the size of a basketball, some the size of a car. Therein lies the danger. By the end of March, these pockets have finally had a chance to thaw out, creating section of the dump where the garbage takes on qualities similar to quicksand; sloppy, foul smelling, rotting quicksand. The landfill becomes a deathtrap, waiting ever so patiently for its next victim. And that’s how I met Jim.
Maybe I should clarify. It was a fairly one-sided introduction. I did most of the meeting, while Jim pretty much just stared at me. You see, Jim was a skeleton. Buried up to his chest in garbage, arms outstretched, one hand holding an old rusted-out air rifle, the other, still tightly clenched around a useless two-way radio. We all knew of Jim, but I was the first to come face to face with him in ten years.

more coming later...