I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

An ode to my trash chute:

Until now, I had never lived in a building with a trash chute. Other people had. And I felt bad for those people. Because, ew.

"How unsanitary," I would think, "How repugnant. An entire floor's worth of garbage being shoved into the sticky, foul-breathed maw of the garbage chute..."

Before I lived in this building, I would ceremoniously hurl my garbage into a dumpster off the end of my old building's breezeway. And living four floors up, made that to be a very satisfying experience... especially when my garbage was particularly full of beer bottles, wine bottles, or other crunchy, breaky trash. Once I changed fluorescent light bulbs in my kitchen. The loooong kind.

It was fucking fantastic when I dropped those bitches into the dumpster. The pop and accompanying explosion was more fulfilling than, dare I say, sex?

I also enjoyed chucking three years worth of legal textbooks into the dumpster. I never thought I could bring myself to throw away a book. I got over that. And loved every minute of it.

Well, now I have a trash chute. A stinky putrid, one-and-a-half-foot-by-one-foot hole in the wall, through which I have to cajole and fenagle my garbage bags. Oh, sure, it's fun to hear the bag slamming against the sides of the chute, but the hot rank of the accumulated garbage of thirty condominiums really saps the "Jazz!" out of hearing my garbage hurtle 7 floors into a dumpster.

In addition, I sort of... hate. The trash room. In which. The chute. Dwells. The lightless closet wheezing old diaper and spoiled fish... hot poop and fermented potatoes. There's a miasma that permeates the trash room and its curtilage. (Good thing it's right outside my bathroom window! Skizz!) I imagine it's what the Lower East Side smelled like, circa 1880. Now I know why people so frequently came down with the ague, when their streets were carpeted in horseshit, dead cats, and rotting cabbages. I feel unclean after popping in for my bi-weekly fifteen-second visit - that sort of unclean you feel after walking through a Seoul fishmarket at noon in mid-July. Or the kind of unclean you feel after tromping down a donkey path into the Grand Canyon on a dry August afternoon.

That sort of unclean where you know that smell compounds from rotting food or doody are clinging to your clothes, your skin, your hair, your eyeballs, the inside of your nose, and, oh God, inside your mouth. I imagine all sorts of creepy-crawlie, long-leggedy bacteria beasties festering in the roiling stench of the trash room, just waiting to attack me and bring me down with a case of the Dropsy or the Bell's Palsy. I'll come down with the amenorrhoea, the cholera morbus, the Grocer's itch, and the locomotor ataxia. The last words that will gasp from my cracked, blackened, gaunt lips will be, "Trash...chute...killed...me." And with that I will creak my death rattle, and fall, lifeless onto a bier of pillows, my features still contorted with wracking pain that tortures me even in death. A somber Irish maid will draw the swags, stop the clocks, cover the mirrors, and send for the undertaker with his black-plumed horses pulling a glass-walled hearse containing the wicker body-basket and a black crepe wreath for the door.

So, tossing out the garbage has gone from a pleasurable experiment in gravitational force and glass' flex and breakpoints, to a task best accomplished quickly. And best followed with a lively hand-washing session with anti-bacterial soap.

And that, my friends, is why I dislike my trash chute.

What's your relationship with your trash chute, pray tell?


Blogger Rootietoot said...

No trash chute here. There are, however, 3 pre-adult males who are perfectly capable of taking it outside to the can. I also keep a compost bucket for the garden, and it's the 8 yr old's job to empty it every night. There is also a weekly trip to the dumpster, as we are hicks and don't have garbage pickup.

6:00 AM

Blogger SuperBee said...

Wait. You guys don't have a garbage truck that takes away your garbage? Where's your dumpster located?

8:11 AM

Blogger Rootietoot said...

No truck. The dumpster's about 2 miles away. It's actually called a "recycling center" and there's about 10 assorted dumpsters and trailers that we sort our garbage into. Pain in the ass, it is too.

This is, after all, The Rural South. Understand that our property taxes are <$800/yr.

4:39 AM

Blogger DrunkBrunch said...

Hi there, long-time reader.

I live on the top floor of an apartment building in NYC. My neighbors are SO lazy that instead of opening the chute and throwing their trash down (a simple process that ends with a very gratifying "boom" 12 floors below), they throw their smelly garbage in a corner, a mere five feet from the chute. LAZY!

This annoys me to no end. And now I'm angry all over again, ha!

8:29 PM


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