Wednesday, May 9, 2012

5/9/12 - Dumpster Dwelling

First off, let's welcome our newest wonderful reader - Don!  Don doesn’t list any information about himself and that’s ok.  Glad you’re here, Don.  Welcome!

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 Yesterday morning, as I do most mornings, I took the trash to the dumpster before getting in my car to head to work (trying to minimize bugs).  I was surprised as I approached the dumpster to see Cheetos flying out of it.  My first thought was that there must be an animal in the bin.  I was going to hoist my bag and hightail it out of there, when I realized that it was a person!  They had slept there!

I stopped the forward momentum of my arm and held on to the bag as the dumpster dude and I looked at each other.  I did as I would for any other person,  I greeted him, albeit somewhat hesitantly.  "Uh, good morning," I said.  "Good morning," he replied.  Then he looked at my bag of trash.  I didn't know what to do.

I decided to set it down next to the dumpster and once again spoke, "Would you mind putting this in there for me when you leave?"  And I thought to myself, "I guess he's going to leave. Right?"

We both seemed to shrug our shoulders at the same time.  My shrug was a response to my silent question, and his was part of his reply, "Sure.  Sure.  I can do that."  He smiled really big as if I had given him a gift.

As I walked off he stuck his head out the opening and waved bye.  I told him to have  a nice day and I sincerely hoped with all my heart that he would, but at the same time I realized how bizarre that statement was.  It broke my heart.  I didn't go straight to my car as planned.  I walked back to my apartment and went inside for awhile.  I took solace in petting my furbabies. 

When I left for work, I drove by the dumpster to make sure my trash was no longer on the pavement.  It wasn't.  He had put it in the dumpster as promised.  All the others were still on the sidewalk, but he took care of mine.  I'm not sure why, but that especially touched my heart.

He wasn't there this morning, but by now the dumpster is full again.  It will be interesting to see if he shows up when the trash bins are emptied.

I told the story at work.  Someone there made the comment that I should have thrown the trash in anyway.  How cruel!  Where is the humanity in that?!?  I come closer to understanding the dumpster dude than I do attitudes like that.

The whole thing made me think of the following song.  It was made popular by Dionne Warwick in the 60's, but I like this version by the original artist, Jackie DeShannon.  It is another brilliant song written by the great Burt Bacharach.  Enjoy.



10 comments:

  1. You know what you did for that person? You recognized him as a person. That's a noble form of respect and I know he appreciated it :)

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  2. @ Maria - I love the way you look at things. I had not that of that. Thank you!

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  3. To bad you didn't have more time....you could have engaged him and maybe got his story....that might have made a good "short story" for your writing contests.....

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    1. @ John - right? Just the brief encounter has sparked my imagination for many snippets. :)

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  4. You go girl. I would have done the same thing. I worked with homeless ministry for 2 years at our church. Every other Saturday our bus picked up 30 or 40 homeless people and they got a free home cooked meal and showers and a clean set of clothes. my job was taking care of the closet and giving out clothes and soap and shampoo and towels. after that most of the volunteers helped in the kitchen. my job was to Talk to them, and to sit at the tables and eat with them. I have a true love for them and can talk to anyone so Billy the director said, they need people to talk to them, we have enough serving.
    I asked the table of 8 once, what is the thing that bugs you the most as homeless. they all agreed, that the worst thing is no one talks to them or looks them in the eye. they said everyone passes by as if they do not exist. after that I have always spoken to them anytime I see them.

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    1. @ Sandra - you are such a lovely person. I love your stories, your life. I too will make it a point to speak to them from now on. Thank you for sharing. xxo

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  5. But for the grace of God, there go I

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    1. @ Tammy - I completely understand and this used to be one of my favorite sayings. I quoted it a lot until one of my friends pointed out that everyone is bestowed with God's Grace so that can't be the difference. I now agree that Grace isn't the difference since we all have it, but I haven't completely wrapped my head around what is. Thanks for posting! Love your blog!

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  6. You probably were the shining spot of his whole day. I really think that you were sent where you are living to be an angel to many people less fortunate than we are. But I hope you can get your RV soon!

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    1. @ Carolyn - well hello friend! An example maybe, but me, an angel? That may be stretching it. LOL. Thank you tho - and yes, looking forward to that RV one day. The sooner, the better. HugZ!

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