All of this time I have been worried about my daughter throwing things of importance into the trash can when it would seem that it was myself that I should have been worried about. At this point it seems unclear how much longer I will be in possession of my full mental capacities. Since the birth of my second child my memory grows faultier by the hour; my to-do lists are becoming more detailed and the little blocks on my calendar are more crowded with monotonous points and reminders.
I awoke this morning and had hardly started my day when I realized that I had meant to mail in payment for my wonderful new gas range. Glancing in the letter slot where bills-in-waiting are stored in order of their due dates, I quickly ascertained that said appliance bill was not where it belonged.
Swell. I then recalled having seen it mixed in with some bills I had paid earlier in the week. I checked the filing cabinet and the computer desk. No luck. In my mind’s eye I could see mailing envelopes and superfluous bill inserts floating down, down, down into the depths of the kitchen trash can, and I wondered if, somehow, the unpaid Sears bill had gotten mixed in with the wrong crowd and headed into the dumps.
In the past I have peered into the scary wasteland of kitchen garbages and wondered if there was anything important enough to warrant plunging an arm into its depths. Well, today I took that plunge. While holding my breath of course.
I halfheartedly poked around in the mess that seemed to consist mostly of coffee grinds. Everything was slimy and mixed up together and saturated in coffee grind juice. It was gross. It really wasn’t fun, so I thought I would look around the house again in an effort to locate the bill before I had to do some serious riffling. Unfortunately the envelope hadn’t magically appeared anywhere that I could see.
Further postponing my morning sustenance and life-giving java, I trudged back to the garbage can convinced that in order to find my statement I was going to have to take that refuse by surprise and force it to hand over my bill. I gingerly hung a plastic bag on the kitchen chair and sorted the yuck from the kitchen can into it. Still no bill.
But wait! The garbage from earlier in the week was tied up and sitting at the curb waiting to be picked up and hauled away to a huge rambling dump never to be seen or heard from again! There was no time to lose. Still in my pajamas, I peeked out of the front door. I looked up the street. I looked down the street. I wondered if I should riffle through the can while it sat on the curb or if I should drag it into the back yard before dumping it and scrabbling through it like a rabid raccoon.
I opted for leaving the can on the curb and just looking through it really, really fast. As Providence would have it, I untied the top bag and there was the long lost envelope with my bill statement lying right on the top and soaking in coffee grinds (of course). From now on maybe a grown-up should follow me around the house and make sure I’m not sticking stuff in the garbage can that doesn’t belong there.