Thursday, May 26, 2011

outside the other night & the next day

A few nights ago I was still wide awake around 4, lying in bed internet surfing when I heard sounds similar to cans being sifted from a trash can next door. I went to the window to see, and though I was a story up, standing in the dark, and peering through a screen, I was scared wondering what could see me back from the street.

As my eyes adjusted, I searched in the dark towards the source of the sound, and finally after about a minute I caught a glimpse of a dark figure in my neighbor's driveway digging through their trash as wheels and plastic scraped against inclined concrete.

I tried to make out the figure: raccoon, bear, something on two feet dragging--then a car approached, headlights blaring and turned in the driveway beside it. The figure retreated into the dark corners of unfenced bushes. Minutes later, after the driver was inside, it was back.

I put myself into the feet of a few perspectives: fear of the garbage sifting shadow, of the driver coming home from a) a tryst b) a late night get-together c) geez it was late--was the person even sober enough to notice? I went back to bed and fell asleep to the scraping and clanking noises of the unknown shadow in the street below my window.

The next day, as I walked with my husband to our car parked beside our trash cans, I swerved around a Mexican man in his forties going through our cans and plastics to fill an ever growing bag of cans that he was lugging around like Santa Clause on Christmas eve.

Residue of Southern grace, mixed with the sunshine had me almost say hello, or excuse me, but a second instinct said let him be, avoid eye contact and walk past, into the car; and I did. He's digging through our trash, I said. He's doing us a service, said my husband. Like a vulture, I said. And we drove away without another word about it.

1 comment:

Andrew Utter said...

I am afraid such sightings will be increasingly common in these times we live in.

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