a sunny summer morn I arrived, hangover in tow. Gathering my Smirnoff-battered
senses, I checked into the office and met Charlie, my trash supervisor.
Charlie wasnt one for words, but apparently approved of
my tattered jeans and "I (heart) Pepsi" T-shirt because
he grunted, handed me a wad of black plastic bags, and wordlessly
led me outside.
he said, pausing for dramatic effect as he waved his hand across
the hundreds of gleaming red trucks parked in rows, allowing me
to soak in the automotive glory, "is your job." Clean
up all the trash under the trucks, near the trucks, next to the
trucks, and anywhere around where you think trucks may have been.
Ill check in with you in a couple hours."
simply nodded, my voice muted by the hangover.
worked steadily for the next couple hours, bending and standing,
bending and standing, picking up an assorted menagerie of road
life residue: cigarette packs, fast food wrappers, and oodles
of styrofoam coffee cups. Basically, all the good things that
keep truckers raring on those long hauls.
the easy early morning of candy wrappers, I began to encounter
capped off drink bottles filled with a yellowish liquid. I shoved
a couple in my trash bags before curiosity tackled me. I unscrewed
a practically filled bottle andgagsniffed. I was smacked
with a whiff of pungent, festering urine.
seems that truckers, when thirsty and stuck on a haul that doesnt
permit pee breaks, chug their favorite beverage, wait for their
bodies to process the drink, piss it back into the containers
gaping hole and then, when the final destination is reached, the
truckers casually toss the piss bottles under their rigs where
unsuspecting shmucks forced to work temp jobs just to stay solvent,
pick up the bottles and sometimes smell them because its
pretty fucking boring to pick up trash all day. Even with a hangover.
beneath a rig I spied some crumpled newspapers. I thought it smelled
like decomposing meat, but chalked it up to leaky oil. Id
never been beneath a truck before; any number of smells could
lurk below. I grabbed the papers and yanked them out.
stench, best described as baked diarrhea, donkey-punched my senses.
I wanted nothing to do with what lay inside the papers, but morbid
curiosity, much like the macabre fascination one has when watching
the ambulance cart away the victims of a particularly bloody car
wreck, tickled me.
my nose with my left hand, I gingerly opened the papers with my
right hand. What met me were the remains of a particularly runny,
messy, and hellacious shit. I nearly retched, but had enough sense
to rapidly close the noisome papers and toss them into my trash
sack, taking care not to get shit on my fingers. Unfortunately,
I was too hasty with my disposal because a couple of wadded blue
tissues that mustve been trapped between sheets fell out.
magical mystery lay inside those tissues? Remains of snot, an
M&M that traveled down the wrong hatch? Nothing? Whatever
it was couldnt have been as bad as messy bowel movements.
I know, I know, I shouldve just quit right there, walked
straight to my car and motored on home, far away from poop and
piss land, but curiosity was nipping me.
I stooped down to inspect the tissues. Adjusting my glasses, I
looked nice and hard. Condom wrappers with used condoms peeked
through the tissues ruffles. Some trucker, tired of pulling
off on his hog as someone talked dirty to him on the CB, mustve
picked up a lovely lady of the night and tried to show her why
truckers call themselves "kings of the road." Or maybe
because every other receptacle and paper product in the cab was
filled with various forms of excrement, he ripped open a condom,
slipped it on and jerked it real good right into the reservoir
tip to the soothing sounds of trucker chatter so he wouldnt
have another mess to clean up.
that. That trucker, that sick motherfucker, took a shit in the
same cab he fucked someone (or himself) and then put the cum-filled
condom in between sheets of shit-covered newspaper. What type
of mentality allows someone to do that with a clean conscience?
What type of mentality allows someone to pick up that newspaper
and examine it along with the love tissues? A mentality paid $8/hr
or $2 for every urine bottle. I cleared my mind with thoughts
of frolicking with the $64 Id have at the days end
and went back to work.
the tissues back under the truck I went on my trash-picking way,
$64 floating through my head, cleaning up suspiciously filled
hydraulic fluid containers and mysterious paper piles sans curiosity,
exacting revenge all the while by pissing nice and hard on the
trucks chrome door handles. When 4 p.m. struck, I sped home
and showered until the hot water ran cold.