Urge to Industry


With swollen feet exposed half inside her bathroom slippers, she pushes the lever and spins her wheelchair round to the trash can outside my window, sidles up close facing it and pulls out a long stemmed two-pronged mechanical finger–resembling forefinger and thumb–from a bag hanging on the back of her chair. She inserts the device into the trash can. With a smile, she pulls out a bottle and examines the glass closely, momentarily furrowing her brows to read the label through the confines of her square lensed teacher spectacles, most likely for deposit instructions or value.

Her hair is straight, collar bone length with bangs that fringe her pumpkin of a head, and she wears a light-weight black jacket, nearly professional looking but a bit worn from wear. Her candy cane striped dress underneath the jacket drapes just past her knees, baring the burnt red skin of her elephantine legs, square blocks immovable. Yet her torso twists readily as she reaches round to the bag on the other side of her chair and deposits the bottle inside. A quick glance inside the trash can opening, her lips an inch away from the rim of the can, she appears confirmed. Another pull on the lever, a quick pivot to avoid plowing over the can, and she moves on to the next trash can just out of view.

My sight range is restricted, paned in by store fronts, circumscribed by adjoining commerce and distant apartments, restaurants, banks and pharmacy. But even I can recognize the expansive urge to industry.

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