The Recycling Lady

I didn’t know it until tonight, but apparently a woman comes by on trash night. An older gal in a thin blue plaid dress, that matches her thinning blue hair. She sifted through my building’s trash as I wandered to the corner to buy one more pack of cigarettes. She sifted and picked out the white plastic bag I’d tied only a few hours earlier, praying it would hold its cargo strong up the two flights. Glass bottles, the sum total of my consumption in the last few months, tied up, and dropped for her to find on a dark warm Sunday night. She curled them up into her hands and dropped them into her metal carrier, heading on down the street, to pull off the detritus of other’s parties and evenings alone with the game. I tried not to look on the corner, as her slumped shadow faded out of the glow of one street light, plodding into the next, a cold and quiet gift from my summer cleaning jostling about in her cart.

She’ll return them to Key Food for one-thirty-five.

They have those machines now.

Fare thee well recycling lady. May the leftovers of a hipster poker night find you on the next block. If only they offered a little more for imported beer at those recycling centers.

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