Taking out the trash and such

2 Moon 29 Autumn 61 Space Age

20 October 2017


I take the trash out this morning. The sweet autumn air is damp in my nose. It rained, very briefly, an hour or two ago, before I got up. Now the street is almost dry again, but I can still feel the breath of water, and the corners of the overhanding eaves of our house are still dripping, faintly, one drop, two drops, three.

I suppose it wasn’t really “rain” – certainly not a hard rain. No. It barely qualified as a “shower” – if that. It was only what one would call “drizzle” – which makes me think of London and all my recent daydreams about living there for a year, or at least for six months (the longest the UK would let me stay without actually getting a visa).

Or maybe it is better just to fly around in my computer, the ultimate 21st century armchair traveler, looking at all the streets and photos and videos, but staying safe and warm at home.

Whatever the case, London is quickly banished from my mind as I push our heavy trash bin out toward the street. It trundles before me, lumbering on its two little wheels, its big body tilted back onto a point of balance, making it almost easy for me to go clunking and bumping along the flat cement walkway leading from the side door – by our kitchen – turning diagonally through the small front garden, out toward the sudden steep slope descending three feet down to street level. As I push this modestly rumbling blue bin (full of rattling glass and metal and whispering paper), I am oddly reminded of Marie Antoinette travelling through the streets of Paris, headed towards her appointment with the guillotine. Tumbril. In her tumbril. It had big wheels, I think. My trash bin has little wheels. Vive la différence.

Perhaps I think of Paris because I am slowly reading Victor Hugo’s long novel, Les Misérables. Yes, perhaps that has something to do with it, even though it takes place one and two generations after the killing of Marie and her husband Louis. Yes, but “they all look alike” – to burglarize a bigoted clause.

As I write these words, my little phone buzzes with a news alert from A.J.E.  There have been more bombings in Afghanistan.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


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