A fictional riff on this week's theme over at Sunday Scribblings.
Garbage, or One Thursday in August
It’s earlier than usual, 6:10, and after Kyle makes coffee he’s going to go and wake Anne. Then he’ll put on shoes and carry garbage to the curb.
Last Wednesday they returned from Chicago by train and he drank whiskey until 3 a.m. and missed getting the garbage to the curb by 7:00. So there are some extra bags of garbage, six or seven total, and some old boxes he needs to get rid of sitting damp in the old garage.
Glenn, their landlord, built them a new, two-car garage behind the old one, and he has half the thing sided. The doors are already installed—both the garage doors and the side door you walk into. Two days ago, Glenn rang their bell and walked Kyle out to the new garage to show him how the doors will work until he runs the electricity. They walked in the side door, and Kyle was a little stunned. He’d never seen such clean concrete; and the garage door tracks, they gleamed like new dimes.
All summer, he had done nothing, and Glenn, a retired history teacher, had built them a two-car-garage.
While Glenn showed him how to work the doors, Kyle couldn’t take his eyes off the tracks. He told their landlord, “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a new garage before.” Glenn looked at him like he was speaking in only vowels.
Kyle didn’t stay up until 3 a.m. last night drinking whiskey. At dinner, Anne ordered a margarita, and he told her he was on the wagon—until December. Anne said, “That means I can order two,” and smiled.
For the whole meal, the salt on the rim of her glass was dull lightning; it filled his guts with hollow warmth.
In the kitchen, he pours water into the coffee maker’s reservoir, scoops grounds into a filter, and turns the machine on.
Then, he walks upstairs to wake Anne.
Next, the garbage.