Ollie's Abstract
Copyright © Erik Pennebaker, All rights reserved

Yesterday the city finally came by to empty the giant blue recycling bin, which sat next to its garbage bin friends in the alley, stuffed and nearly overflowing, as if frozen in a moment where it accidentally took an overly large bite of a roast, which subsequently turned out to be impressively chewy, fatally chewy. To chew would mean to risk a loss of containment; to swallow would be impossible. To get up from the table to leave for the bathroom, cheeks bulging with rodent ambition, not being able to even speak a muffled "excuse me" - the inevitable choice, but so loathsome that remaining still for a time presents no additional cost. A moment to savor what it was like the time on January 20th, 2010, before "The Stuffed Face" story happened, a story which you will be coaxed to recreate at every gathering for all time, and each time your cheeks must puff out slightly larger than the last to avert moans and further coaxing.

Luckily the garbage or recycling people came and emptied the broken down christmas boxes and bottles of corona and wine. Apparently with the economic slowdown the city must be collecting the recycling less often, and it caused great problems with my continued consumption. Wii boxes and blue-ray player boxes piled near the back door. The inside recycling bin began to accumulate a perimeter of items, like a medieval town with some unlucky bottles and small boxes not enclosed by the order inside the main city walls.

So the recycling backed up, a great constipation, and I was nearing the point where either I must give up consumption for a time (impossible and unspeakable, and this will not be mentioned again) or put recycling into the garbage, where it will be placed in a land fill, eternally unforgiven, or at least unforgiven during the timeframe I'm concerned with. I went through the motions of life and work, but this weighed on my mind and caused me great discomfort.

As I glanced out the back window from the kitchen one morning and saw the big blue recycling bin outside, with the top laid down flat instead of partly open over the volume of its too-large bite. I felt a lifting of my spirit, the soaring freedom and lightness of a great release. I quickly ran outside and put the backlog of recycling into the bin, carefully organizing it for efficiency, avoiding contact with the box staples and stale beer juices. But I only filled it two-thirds or so, and left it with the top laying down flat and civilized.

[ tags: 40/1.4 abstract consumption eating leica m4 ollies voigtlander ]

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