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Midday came and I dug out my snack, the usual old Chinese take-out, and peered into the sun until I sneezed. It was a usual routine, eating the leftovers of other’s labor and pondering the cosmos over some Little Debbie cakes. My trashy cocoon locked out the penetrating wind, encaging me in a layer of warmth and stench. I grew fond of this aroma, the way its claws grapple up my nose with a sting and cause my eyes to water. This was the smell of decay running through my body, the smell of rebirth and infinity! I was perfumed in a cycle of life that the world utterly ignored.
The rust spot that looks like a cat grew a second tail from the last I’ve examined it. The tail is branded, and chips into a flower at the tip. A fly is brave enough to dare sit on this tiger’s back but quickly flutters off again.
That night an inconveniently placed plastic wrapper belonging to a Barbie box found its way into my back. From the crack between my dumpster lids I inspected the hazy sky, pretending I knew where the stars where. The blurred street laps served as the buckle to a great urban hunter, chasing not Scorpio, but a homeless man who stole his ham sandwich. A flea-bitten dog called to his master, his wail echoing through the hollow streets like a cry from a lost child. As that sad note settled in my ears, I wept for my own master. A master vanishing behind a vapor of science and machinery.
A pigeon with white tipped wings like mountains commonly takes stoop on my dumpster. Pigeon preen his contour feathers on his brown paper bag throne. This pigeon was more than a city pest, he was a skilled warrior of utility, and a conquer of earth and sky. Pigeon and I discussed his bird’s eye view of the world. Below his windy waves was a reef bed of glass and steel. He knows of human dreams to fly, that some weak souls drown in the gravity. From above Pigeon sees us caged by our own limitations, writhing along our paths like worms. Organic instinct prevails over this metropolis. I asked Pigeon for news about the outside world, but all he answered was ‘coo.’
It is quite a commotion when the city waste management administrators come to clean my dumpster. I am cleansed of material waste, and it is simply me in a cold metal box. Once I was in the middle of a nap after gorging on some hostess snacks, and awoke in a place much like my dumpster, only larger. I felt my body rocking with motion, and realized I must have been disposed into the garbage truck with the rest of my homely trash. The city waste management administrators gave me their deepest apologies and left me on the street side. “We aren’t throwing trash away, the trash is throwing us away,” I bellowed at the retreating truck.
One month, one week, and one day ago I came into this dumpster, unsure of what I would learn, if not anything. At least I can leave knowing while my dumpster continues to be emptied, I will remain full of knowledge and Chinese take-out.