Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning vs. "Pay-as-you-throw"

Dear Diary,

True story. This morning on a very crowded subway...

ME: Excuse me. Excuse me.

SOME RUDE GUY: It's rush hour. Why would you carry a six foot tree onto a busy subway?

ME: I've got to get it out of the apartment, and the city just adopted a "pay-as-you-throw" garbage pick-up policy. I'm going to dump it downtown on some street. Christmas is over, you know? I don't need this anymore.

RUDE GUY: It's June. What are you still doing with a Christmas tree in your apartment?

ME: Never got around to getting rid of it. Something just kept coming up. Not my fault.

RUDE GUY: Like what?

ME: I don't know. Valentine's Day, then St. Patrick's Day, then Yom Kippur. It's just been non-stop this year.

RUDE GUY: I suppose you still have your Christmas lights out, hanging on your house.

ME: Dude. Slow down. One day at a time. One day at a time.

SOME RUDE MIDDLE AGE WOMAN: You better not be turning those Christmas lights on every night. That's a waste of energy.

ME: Well, it's a waste of energy to turn them off. I'm exhausted at night.

The subway stopped at a stop then, and someone stood out of their seat and walked out. I immediately stood the tree up in the empty seat, the ceiling bending the top of the tree.

RUDE GUY: What are you doing?

ME: It's okay. Just leave it there. It's not bothering anyone.

RUDE GUY: You can't just dump your garbage on the subway before you go to work every morning.

He was saying this as I was reaching inside my backpack and pulling out a garbage bag filled with trash, and then moving to jam it beside the Christmas tree.

ME: What do you expect me to do? It's "pay-as-you-throw" now. I can't pay every time I want to throw something out. This new policy is killing me!

The subway stopped at my stop then, and as I walked out with the rest of the crowd, I emptied all my pockets out onto the floor with old wrappers, used tissue and a scrunched-up soda can.

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