Up and Over

The garbage truck comes to the condominium today.

Sometimes I meet him on my morning walk.  Like a green beast tugging at the reins the truck enters our private street. Sometimes I cross to the other side of the drive to watch from a secure spot.

One man operates it all. He stops the truck, dismounts, rolls the dumpster into position on the pavement. Then he lowers the tines, advances until they are within the metal sleeves, and moves another lever.

Up, up, over the windshield and top of the cab the dumpster is lifted.

Then tip, clatter, the lids bang against the truck and gravity lowers our discards into the enclosed metal bin. Bang, clatter, and the dumpster retreats, finds the pavement and the truck backs away. Free again, the driver rolls it back, ready for the next collection of refuse.

I walk past the sharp, sour smell of squeezed garbage avoiding the little puddle at the rear of the truck.

It’s very different, and in ways much improved, from our burning barrel and infrequent trips to the “dump” of my childhood.