Oct 15, 2008

Undercover Heaving

Dark clouds scudded over the moon, creating a misty halo that reflected off the wet asphalt and outlined our two darting forms -- I with a long ponytail and bangs repeatedly falling across my eyes, and Dora with the unmistakable curves belonging only to overdue pregnant women.

She ran ahead of me from can to can, checking to see how full the neighbors' garbage receptacles were. I followed behind in the shiny darkness, dragging overweight black bags behind me and tossing them in when she'd found an empty space. No, we weren't disposing of evidence, though it felt like it. And no, we didn't even know what exactly was in the black bags. All we know is that one of our neighbors piled about 12 huge black garbage bags on our front curb about two weeks ago and left them there - just left them - to fend for themselves. But around here, the garbage trucks don't pick up bags, just cans. And so the pile has sat under our palm tree, killing the grass and making us look sort of, well, trashy.

They could have been body parts. Or they could have been donations of clothing left out for the Goodwill truck. Or just plain kitchen garbage. Or... well, they could have contained any number of things. But Dora insisted they contained lawn refuse and laid out her plan to me last week.

"Hey, we're going to wait until dark the night before the garbage is picked up, then stuff as many of those bags in cans as we can find room for. We're going to do this until they're all gone."

I protested, of course. What if, what if... The other option was to put a witty sign on the bags instructing whomever had dumped them on a pregnant woman's lawn to come "get your traish!" This didn't sound like it would endear us to the perpetrators. I boldly declared that I would canvass the neighbors that very day to determine who the culprit was and to demand that they remove their trash. But then I looked out the window at how large of a man Brutus' owner is (that's the crazy dog that's continually trying to jump the fence next to us), and conveniently forgot. Or so I thought. Until...

Several days ago (the trucks come 2x a week) I woke to the news that Dora had heard the trucks in the neighborhood in the early morning, and had run outside in her flimsy white nighty (fully pregnant, mind you) and had stuffed as many of those bags as she could into ours and other cans nearby. There was still a huge pile, though it was significantly smaller than it had been. Shocked and horrified, I waited for the sky to fall. It didn't. So tonight, after the pouring rain had paused and all seemed dark and quiet, I slipped on my flip-flops with her, snuck out onto the puddle-ridden street, and grasped slimy bags filled with who-knows-what. The rain had soaked them so badly I could barely move some, and had to use (instead of the great arm strength we all know I possess) my body weight as a counter balance in order to drag them across driveways, over lawns, and up into garbage cans.

Dora did more than her fair share of this undercover heaving. Several cars passed, blinding us with their twin headlamps, and we attempted to stand up straight and look nonchalant, two women loitering amongst the cans on the side of the road. Yes. You often see women among the cans, don't you? Pretty common sight. No reason to stare, folks, no reason to stare. Just keeeeep drivin. And please don't ask us what we're dragging around the neighborhood, because we don't know.

You'll be happy to know the pile is gone and we're back inside, drinking tea -- Dora, Red Raspberry Leaf to help her go into labor; me, Chamomile to sooth my terribly sore throat. Red Raspberry Leaf indeed! If anything helps her go into labor tonight, it will be the surreptitious heaving of soggy garbage into unsuspecting neighbors' cans. But the pick up is tomorrow, and they'll never even know it happened. If they do happen to notice, the best scripture for them to apply is: "To him who has, even more shall be given."

And the perpetrator's scripture for the day is, from Dora: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (But personally, I hope that no one dumps trash on their lawn, whoever they may be. It will just junk up the 'hood again.)

And for Dora and I, "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. For you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you." And, if he has dumped his trash on your lawn, clean it up yourself. Burning coals, people! Burning coals!


Annie Peterson said...

that is hilarious! You guys WOULD do something like that. :)

Anonymous said...

How about this Scripture: Nehehmiah 4:8-11, "All of them conspired together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause a disturbance in it. But we prayed to our God, and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night. Thus in Judah it was said, "The strength of the burden bearers is failing,yet there is much rubbish...Our enemies said, "They will not know or see until we come among them, kill them and put a stop to the work."

I think it was a prophecy about you.

p.s. You are seriously the best writer I know. Pretty, pretty prose!!! It's a gift.