Dumpster Diving And The Dream of the Dolphin
Here is a short piece of music by Enigma, called, ” Dream of the Dolphin,” that I would like to share with you as you read this.
In every color there’s the light.
In every stone, sleeps a crystal.
Remember the Shaman, when he used to say, “Man is the dream of the dolphin.”
The recycle center today was much busier than usual. At our second visit, two hours prior to closing, the center reported a thirty percent increase in traffic for the day.
This morning, we waited in a long line of trucks, cars and semis. Lamenting about the wait to my husband, I was suddenly stopped short. An elderly and frail woman was pushing a shopping cart over the debris-strewn drive, toward the office. She had already dropped off some recycle. I could not imagine what. A shopping cart full of cans, perhaps. Forty cans make a pound, and a pound pays sixty cents. Surely her cart had held no more than a couple of pounds of cans, at the most.
She held her yellow ticket in one hand, and navigated the cart, patiently, as it lurched over the rubble. She leaned on the cart for support, such that it doubled as sort of a walker.
My door flew open, and I tumbled out. “We have to help her,” I told my husband.
“Ma’am, do you need some help? Do you need a ride?”
“Oh, no. Thank you. I’m fine. God bless you.” Her face wrinkled, her grin toothless.
I monitored her progress. She made her way out of the recycle center. Over the railroad tracks. Back toward town. Several miles to go. She navigated her cart to somewhere, alone, and kindly turned down any offer for help. Where was she going? I do not know.
‘I’m fine. God bless you.’
This was someone’s mother, or grandmother, or wife.
Is this the sort of thing the GOP wants to see? The elderly wandering the streets, alone, pushing carts several miles to obtain a dollar or two? Sometimes I wonder how we can call ourselves human beings any more.
So the music and this post is for the woman we saw today. And the many that we did not see. And never will.
And also, this is for the dolphins.
While the ‘powers that be’ continue to manipulate numbers and convince each other that things are getting so much better economically, and lying and conniving to convince a passing public that will never be convinced, because they think the passing public is stupid, only it isn’t, that life is just peachy, some of us in the ‘field’ see things in a different light.
-Dumpster diving is becoming not only commonplace. It is very nearly a movement. I no longer hide any more. I dive in the light of day now. And that’s good because I was not even sure we had the gas money to get our parked load from the weekend to recycle in the first place, but then I got antsy waiting on my husband, so I quickie-hit a few dumpsters within walking distance, and picked up a new keyboard, some more lamps, another 10-pound bag of oranges, and bingo! A wallet with just enough loose change to get us there. Coincidence?
-People are dumping their trash into public dumpsters because they cannot afford roll-off service, now more than ever.
-More people are eating out of dumpsters than I have seen in the past. Today we went ‘shopping.’ We picked up 5 packages of stew beef, grapefruit, enough grapes to sink a ship, oranges, lemons, blueberries, strawberries, celery, broccoli, potatoes, bread, and cheese. We were not the first visitors. We now limit the amount of food we bring in, so that others can eat also.
-I continue to apply for local minimum wage jobs and continue to get nowhere. I am not alone. The good news: our tiny garage/yard cleaning/junk hauling business is picking up and we are booked for the rest of this week. We hope that it will grow from here.
-I see a lot of underemployment, part-time employment and ’employed but scared’ employment.
-Nobody has benefits any more. Do they?
-I cannot remember the last time we actually filled the truck with gas. The trick is to know just how far below reserve the needle can actually get before we go to the pump. Then we reset the odometer. We are not alone.
-We can never completely fix our truck. The grill fell off, so I reattached it with zip ties. And then that, that thing stuck to the tailgate kept coming loose, and the duct tape quit holding it on, so I peeled the whole goddamned fucking thing off and threw it into the back of the truck with the rest of the recycle. When we visit clients, we slide cardboard underneath the truck to catch the drops of dripping oil.
Anyone else in the ‘field?’ Can anyone relate? I do not think things are better at all.
cross-posted at: dumpsters2011.wordpress.com, and at: SmirkingChimp.com