We've lived out here in the country for a year now. The garbage has been sort of piling up in the garage all this time. I tried taking it to the dumps in Madison once, but that was really too far to go. I sold our tin cans to a guy in a barn in Mt. Horeb. We used the papers for kindling. We used the rotten food for compost. That still left a bunch of plastic, gross odds and ends, and of course Little Z still wears a diaper at night- and they add up. It was really a nice smell for the garage, all things considered.
We were told by a few different sources that there was a dumps nearby, run by an old man and only open on Saturday mornings. The thing that stopped me from going was that everyone said you pay by the calendar year, and it's already October. (Why I didn't go before this- I don't remember.) But I guess everything just hit critical mass today. The tipping point was reached. A year had gone by. Today, it was time to take out the trash. We loaded up the truck (it barely made a dent in our pile) and off we went on the beautiful, scenic drive to the dumps.
When we got there fifteen minutes later, it wasn't a dumps at all. It looked like a little farm in the woods with a lot of dumpsters sitting around, and people tossing stuff into them- but then there was this old guy directing things, setting this aside, someone can use that- he is the god of recycling, this guy. He was real skinny and a chain smoker. There was this bonfire there, too. I'm not sure if it was really a bonfire. It was just like there was this small area that was on fire, kind of. A garbage fire, you might say. In a muddy parking lot. With a red barn. And a lot of dumpsters, and some stuff set aside.
It was really awesome.
We parked out of the way and I approached the old dude (you just know who's in charge, immediately, though I can't say how- lots of people were walking around), this old dude who was now sitting with his legs crossed in the doorway of a barn, surrounded by crucifixes, holy virgins, and hub caps. There was a sign above him that said, "All transfer site users must have a permit, effective January 1, 1992." I inquired into the price of a permit, and he gave me half off, on account of the lateness in the calendar year. I was suddenly very glad that I had whimsically purchased the checks with the over-the-top Christian angels on them. He held the check up to the light, cigarette hanging out of his lips, and said, "I'll give this to Maria on Monday and she'll send you the permit." God bless Maria.
I went back to the truck and told BAH and Little Z the deal. Brian got in the truck and drove it over to one of the big dumpsters (past the fire in the middle of the parking lot). Little Z and I walked over, and she said to me,
"I want you to carry me. I afraid all these big trucks going to squish me." This is the most intelligent thing she has ever said to me.
While Bad-Ass-Husband was taking the trash out of the truck, the mice who had been living in our garbage back home ran out and played around the truck tires, not knowing where they were. People stopped and pointed at our mice and giggled and made comments. There was a leisurely pace to the unloading of trash. The old dude who runs the place came over to check out the mice, too. Then he suggested we not throw out that burlap- someone might want it for a deer blind- and he had me set it aside, with the other things he thought someone might use. People before us had left some tables, a swimming pool ladder, a shoe rack, and a lot of random wood pieces, among other things.
Suddenly five or six trucks were coming down the dirt road through the forest there, and the old dude said,
"All the lazy butts are coming in now." (The time was approaching noon.)
I wonder how many things about that dump cause death in the State of California?
Man, I loved that open fire.
That place was more fun than most places where they charge you to have fun.