With our household size decreased, so is our garbage. On a sunny Friday afternoon, I swing by the transfer station with two bins of recycling and a bag of trash. The roving raccoon who appears regularly outside my kitchen door, pre-dawn, apparently found a way into my barn and enjoyed the trash far more than I did.
At the transfer station, I interrupt a woman who’s eating her lunch salad. I apologize, and then I stand at the open window as we kick around a weather conversation for bit — flowers blooming in my garden and all. She tells me she’s headed to Florida next week — not for the winter, but to drive down her convertible and store it at her father’s house. Where he lives, he’s eight hours from New Orleans, eight hours from Nashville, eight hours from just about anywhere worth going. The trash business slows in the winter (something I’d never considered), and she’s looking forward to doing some traveling this winter.
I’m no fan (who is?) of consumption and trash, but the transfer station has a particular allure to me: so many stories here. When I moved from our last house, I negotiated with the transfer station owner about swapping used tires for metal, and what could he offer for two old pickups in the woods? We each held up our end of the bargain we struck.
A flock of juncos settled around my house this afternoon. While I folded up the laundry I had hung on the back porch, I imagined my acquaintance driving south, roof cranked down and the breeze in her hair, speeding towards her dreams.
On some nights, I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.— Hunter S. Thompson