I like Thursdays because it’s wheelie bin day, and I look at them on the way to the shop, standing in wobbly rows in the hot dust and doing basically nothing. But that’s wrong.
Nothing works so hard as the wheelie bin. When I pass them, all the way to work, they’re in little groups mulling over a whole week’s story. And exhausted really. Some are skewed and crooked with broken feet and sagging bellies and some are split from chin to knee.
Sometimes, in our road, they are not straight. They are shoulders to the road and backs hunched.
I see the green bins and yellow bins leaning into each other, exchanging gaseous news about what their families are going through, mouths slightly ajar, unable to close on the morning’s breakfast. Some are rattling and chewing in the breeze and dropping careless milk cartons, and with odd things like camping chair legs protruding like a chicken bones through plastic lips.
Through Woodchester, there’s two without lids, the clasps protruding from necks, and one is bandaged heavily around the gut with silver tape. Some wear beards of food and greenery.
Some foam at the mouth. Some have fallen in the wind and are still lying broadside in the gravel when I drive back home. Some have been towed back to their seats. Some get hosed out and have to cough up that last bit of egg carton. Imagine not having them.