I have a story forming in my head. I just started writing, and mapping things out. This is just a very rough draft, but I thought I would post a snippet.
I snapped on the Latex gloves. *sigh* I love that sound.
“Quit loitering Mike”, I chided myself. “time to get to work”. Bad habits are hard to break, and this one I would probably never outgrow. You can take the kid out of the street, but the street will always be in the kid. Even if that kid is in her late twenties.
I slowly walked past a row of dark green, foul-smelling dumpsters. My big rubber boots made a clump clump sound as I searched out my first victim. The smell of rotting food made its way to my nose as I approached the last metal solider in the line. There is no time to be squeamish in a moment like this. I quickly hoisted myself up onto the edge of the dumpster and dived right in. As my feet landed in the sea of muck I heard a squish and a crunch. I looked down. Ahhh, one foot in a patch of rotten tomatoes, the other foot crunched in a half full egg shell carton. Great, rotten eggs are the hardest to get off of any clothing or shoes. Looks like I have a date with the garden hose after this.
I gagged a bit. “You think I would be used to this after all these years” I mumbled, trying not to open my mouth too much, but just enough to breathe through it instead of my poor mistreated nose.
I started sifting through the trash and rot. Hmm, tomatoes meant there was more produce around. “Jackpot”, a four pack of vine ripened tomatoes, one rotten the rest were red, plump and a little firm….”perfect”. I popped the rotten one out and bagged the rest and went on sifting. Memories flooded through my mind as I worked. I was just a teenager the first time I got desperate enough to dumpster dive. I had read about it in an article when I was in younger. I read anything I could get my hands on, and this little tidbit came in handy when I was forced onto the streets. I had little money and what little I had, I had plans for, I didn’t want to waste it on food. But I needed to eat to survive.
I made my way down the line of dumpsters. As I dove into the last one a thought popped into my head. I snorted, “If Mom could see me now”. I screeched that thought to a halt. I didn’t want to walk down that dark tunnel of thought. It would be salting wounds that may never heal. But it was too late, I could hear the train coming and I was already too far in the tunnel. I was about to be smacked down by an emotional train wreck. I skittered out of the dumpster and crashed down to my knees. Tears sprang to my eyes, bile rose in my throat. I crawled behind the dumpster and out of sight. Emotions started to crash down on me in waves. Fear, anger, envy, disgust. “No” I choked out, “no,no,no”. I striped off the latex gloves and crawled to the outer brick wall of the market that the dumpsters were lined up against. I pressed my hands against the cool red brick and opened myself up. The waves settled and a sense of calm enveloped me like a warm blanket on a cold snowy morning.
“Breathe Mikka, just breathe.”
I sat there for a few minutes, but eventually my nose got the better of me. I reeked of garbage. Time to get over it and move on…Story of my life, I thought. Besides, I had a good life now. There was no reason to dwell on the past. Life punched me in the gut and I kept on kicking. Sure the air whooshed out of me for a bit, but I got it back.
I swooped up my bags of dumpster treasure and pressed one hand to the wall of the market again. This time when I opened myself up I sent feelings of gratitude toward the wall. In return I got a sense of amusement. The building was amused with me. I was stunned. Apparently the market building had been bored and my dumpster diving and emotional war was quite the bit of drama. Even better than a fight for an open register on a Saturday. I didn’t quite agree, but the mental picture of me hoping from dumpster to dumpster and then landing on my knees and kissing the ground made me laugh out loud. I was far from graceful, so the image got funnier and funnier the more I thought about it. The building laughed with me. I patted the wall, quested out with my senses to make sure th coast was clear, and then clomped my way home.