A Tip For the Trash
I’ve felt an affinity for garbagemen ever since I was a three-year-old and my heart was lifted every time I saw a happy gang of sociable guys hoisting big cans into a loud truck as they drove through Veterans’ Village at Oklahoma A&M where my dad was in grad school after WWII. The garbagemen here, in our small Mexican town, are similarly friendly and energetic hombres. I like them too. Every day except Sunday they pick up whatever trash we leave outside our door, sorting through the mess to make money from some of the recyclables. When we lived on Calle Constitución, Lupita would shout down to them from our balcony as they passed by, "Hola chicos, la basura!" And then with laughter all around she'd toss that day's trash into the bed of their camion. Yesterday, at our new home on Calle Encarnación Rosas, I slipped a 200 peso note in an envelope Truck 6 had left on our doorstep. When a jangling bell announced they were on our street, I passed it on to a hearty “Gracias, Señor”.