Redemption


I want to write, but my mind is all swears at the moment. Most of the day was great- but just fifteen minutes ago I sat down to pay some bills and now I’m suddenly completely overwhelmed. There are more factors to this than I can probably name: a disrupted routine, a fear of still not having found a job, my mind’s complete inability to concentrate on anything besides the move, the fact that I haven’t gone for a run in five days, the fact that I’ve put on weight, etc. There’s no paucity of reasons. I suppose the real question is why this hasn’t come up sooner.

I spent the day cleaning again. Yesterday I got off to a late start so I resolved to start early today. Due to some work-related training, the Curmudgeonly Lion has had to go into the office at six in the morning, which means getting up at five. If that’s not an excuse for an early start then nothing is. It was oh so tempting to want to climb back into bed- I’m not sure I could even say what it was that prevented me from doing so. But I didn’t. I had breakfast instead.

Part of getting up early, I hoped, meant that I could take the three bags of recycling to the redemption machines while it was early and quiet. I couldn’t just leave them in the van like I would normally do: I needed the van for moving. So I got out the door just after seven hoping to have the machines to myself. And I did. Because they weren’t working. I now had three bags of recycling that I had to figure out how to fit into the van along with all the stuff I wanted to drive up to the house. And the bags stank. Someone on set, unclear on the concept of bottle redemption, had thrown food trash in one of the bags and it was moldering in a stew of warm, flat soda. I double bagged the most likely culprit and put it in the front footwell so that I couldn’t possibly forget about it.

Cleaning was somewhat more productive today than yesterday: I finally managed to get to work on shelf paper and got all the top cupboards cleaned and papered before calling it a day. It still felt like pitiful progress, but at least it was progress.

Driving home in rush hour I made it back to town in enough time to give the recycling machines another shot. I didn’t exactly have the place to myself- the worker was still closing up and one of the two machines was already in use, but I counted myself lucky to catch the last free machine. Of the three bags of recycling there were only three or four bottles that the machine rejected, which is pretty good odds. The total came to ten dollars and ten cents.

I brought the coupons into the grocery store to redeem them (they now have to be redeemed right away) and a homeless gentleman asked if I could spare some change on my way into the store. He reminded me of my uncle. I didn’t quite answer, but I couldn’t quite ignore him either: I didn’t have any change, but I was going into the store to get cash… it seemed… wrong to lie about it. I’d collected all the bottles and carted around the stinking bags to redeem them and my hands were still sticky with the spoiling food from the bottom of the bag. I felt like I’d earned the money, but it was just going to be a nice little extra- I wasn’t going to go hungry without it.

The cashier gave me the cash in two fives and a dime. On my way out I gave one of the fives to the man by the door. It was the right thing to do. I’d give the other one to the Curmudgeonly Lion- five dollars was still pretty good for a couple bags of recycling. No one had to know I’d been a bleeding heart about it. I fibbed and said the total haul had been five dollars and ten cents worth, but later in the evening the Curmudgeonly Lion found the receipt from the checkout at discovered that it had been ten dollars instead of five. He didn’t ask where the other five went and I didn’t say, but I’m guessing that this is the cause of my sudden internal cursing: because now I feel obligated to explain myself. I wanted this to be a quiet little private act of charity, not something that I had to explain or share. And of course, now I’m sharing it with the world. Because, of course.

Well so much for that. Fuck this. I’m going to bed.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on August 16, 2016.

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