I find comfort in the garbage collection man. Not in his manly, truck driving embrace. I have to admit that I have never been hugged by the garbo. But I love that every Friday morning he comes past my house. Without fail. It’s like clockwork.
In fact, it’s more reliable than clockwork. We had a power cut the other night and so, when I woke, the clocks were flashing 2 am. But not in the land of garbage collection. His clock was working fine. He doesn’t seem to know that it’s Easter holiday, or when it’s Christmas, or any other day of idleness.
He creates a weekly punctuation in our lives. We offer up the discarded, used, broken and abandoned from a week of consuming. And he gives us consistency: That whatever else is happening at number 12, the garbage will be collected. The lifecycle of refuse goes on.
His weekly song is so often unnoticed. The hum and clank. The engine whirr as he drives on to the next offering. The soft squeal of his brakes. Repeating into the distance. He creates the rhythm of suburban life.