Dumpster Life

It’s almost 100 degrees outside, if you didn’t know.

Imagine how gross and smelly most dumpsters are this time of year. Well, the one at my apartment is horrible. I spray it often with pro-grade insecticide. I also keep the trash picked up. For some reason, the amount of trash has escalated in recent weeks. Some residents throw their trash in there without it being bagged. Including the home health nurse who takes care of an elderly man below. She throws dirty adult diapers directly inside. This is important for reasons I’ll clarify.

Today, I worked out in the hot sun until I was drenched in sweat. I wore a pair of black shorts, ones missing a top button. I accumulated so many screws and washers in the pockets that the shorts constantly began to succumb to gravity and work down across my hips. I’m not a plumber, so I can’t very well walk around like that. Plus, the catcalls from all the local women are a distraction.

I walked over to the dumpster and pulled out handfuls of screws, tossing them blindly into the open stinky dumpster. I eyed the dirty diapers with particular glee. The hot sun did them no favors.

I walked back to my apartment and realized I had locked the door.

A growing horror overtook me.

I knew with growing dread. That. I. Had. Tossed. The. Car. Key. And. Apartment. Key. Inside. The. DUMPSTER.

Before thinking too long or pondering the financial implications of replacing my car key, I ran over to the dumpster, hooked my foot in the grab-rail, and hoisted myself up and into the dumpster. I did my best to avoid the diapers. I climbed on top and leaned headfirst inside, my hands clawing at the things I’d just tossed inside. About a foot away from the bottom, I spied my car key. Luckily, I painted it spa blue, so I saw it more easily. The smell of farts and worse filled my nostrils. I knew I couldn’t pass out inside the dumpster, though given its temperature, it was likely. I leaned over as far as I could, like a broken half of a seesaw, and grabbed the key, then flung myself backward to avoid needing to touch any deliciousness surrounding me.

If you ask me if I washed my hands?

I think I drank bleach in my attempt to kill every virus and bacteria that might have attacked me.

Love, X

Blue Light Special

My cat prowling the early morning landing around 3 a.m. To the left you can see my new set of mismatched blue bottle lights. They are very vivid! I am afraid to leave them twinkling or flashing. My neighbors all tend to get nervous when they see blue flashing lights. No one would come out of their apartment for a week.


I will write a happy, fun moment in time. Lord knows we all need one. Some moments are especially sweet precisely because of the bittersweet swirling around us.

I pulled into the convenience store near the interstate. Two boys were wheeling around on bicycles, happy and carefree as young boys often are, when they have freedom and mobility. You don’t see boys like that galavanting like you once did, especially on bikes.

I went in to get a soda and watched as the boys excitedly decided what to buy with their precious dollars. When I went to pay they were behind me.

I received my change and turned and handed one of the boys a $5 bill. “Don’t take money from strangers!” I said. All of us laughed, even the clerk. The boys’ faces lit up as they realized they could buy additional unexpected bounty.

It cost me $5 to make us all smile.

I waited outside in my car to watch as the boys exited.



Love, X

The Inertia of Moments

The train horn sounded in the distance. A curtain of insects chirped and announced their presence. The surprisingly cool air enveloped me as I sat on the landing, my cat uncharacteristically sitting next to me so that I could scramble his ears with my fingers. A cup of coffee set precariously on the landing rail in front of me. Below me, a neighbor coughed as he sat in the chair facing the shadows and the dark parking lot. In front of him were the remains and carcass of the failed air conditioning that had been replaced. As the train passed, its horn was replaced by the sound of industrial trash trucks doing their daily rounds. You would think the urban sounds would be a distraction. They’re not. Though I sat motionless, already dressed for work, I wanted another minute or another hour or another day to remain there. Thinking, but motionless. I looked up into the clear sky and watched stars twinkle. My inertia of the moment was almost insurmountable.

The universe inside the bottle lights reminded me.



Early this morning, not that 5:30 a.m. is not early… The wind was really howling. It felt amazing if you were out there for just a minute. After a minute, I would compare it to standing in a oven being heated. The ancient Greeks were alive again they would certainly add air conditioning to their list of deities.

‘It’s better to stand corrected than to sit wrong.’ – X

‘And especially so if all the chairs are made of nails and traffic cones.’

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird)

What will you be listening for on this hot sweltering day?



Life can be so hard so if you see this post and get irritated at me, take a moment and remember: I don’t know about you, but a great deal of my problems are a result of me taking myself seriously. And from worrying about appearances.

Just being a good neighbor! Since the original neighbor and his new roommate galavant around with no shirts on, they might as well up their game. I, of course, am here to help. Anyone who needs a really poorly made sign for this kind of purpose can reach out to me and I will hook you up. These neighbors did not ask for my help. I just see a need and compassionately reach out to offer my assistance. Ha! Please indemnify me from the consequences though. I have enough tomfoolery and shenanigans to fill my plate.


Whale Shark!

I had this weird feeling this morning. All I could hear was deep bass. Duh-da. Duh-da. The hair on the back of my knees stood up like the needles of the startled porcupine. And then I saw it, the most vicious creature in the workplace: Whale Shark.

For Sale: Redneck Gazebo. Spiders Included

The drug shed in the back corner of the area I’ve painstakingly cleared… A tenant, long gone to greener pastures, put it there. The years have not been kind to it. Once I found used syringes inside it, the impetus toward disposal only increased.

I gave people more than enough time to lock it, haul it away, or 4th-of-July the thing. (I carefully worded that due to FB’s ridiculous interpretation of jokes.)

This week, I accelerated the process of taking a few hundred screws out, fighting off an army of spiders, and compressing the supports and metal for disposal. I hope the neighbor doesn’t notice that the back of his pickup is full of discarded metal; or, if he does, that he can’t determine w-h-i-c-h butthead might have placed it there.

Reaching this point, I realized that I’ve managed to get to the level of ‘redneck gazebo.’ I’ll sell it as is for $5.67. Spiders included. At least the snakes have abandoned it.

If no offers are forthcoming, I’ll attempt to remove the top of it. It’s very heavy and though I’ve sprayed it repeatedly, the spiders seem to have gained superpowers by ingesting the professional-grade insecticides I’ve sprayed on them. I’m pretty sure one of the spiders was actually smoking a cigarette.

If you’re wondering if the chest in the picture holds anything valuable, the answer is ‘no.’ There were things of value in there. But the weather and people of dubious reputation ruined everything. This shed is an excellent example of entropy. And inattentive landlords.

I don’t know what day the urge to potentially crush myself under the rest will strike me. So act fast. I hope you like spiders.