Trash Can

By: Sue Roy

I sit just a few feet from the corner- I really don’t want to be more secluded than I already am. I’m a robot-like figure, easily taken apart. I am decapitated once a day-7 days a week as the kind-yet rushed staff workers take out the trash I hold within myself. I am empty for a few hours before the rush of students and adults alike pass me. I watch them with a wary eye, wondering how long it will take until they use me. I’m just the lonely trash can barely in my little corner. I’ve been here so long I’ve forgotten my age, but I guess it can be inferred from that Rubbermaid logo on my head. Before I was moved to my current location, I used to be in that art room just 10 feet away. I remember the countless times paint would drip on my head, on my mouth. Every color of the world seemed to be on my mouth, creating a mess that can never be cleaned up. The marks on my head dye my rubber-woodlike hair with an assortment of colors randomly being marked out, as if some careless painter had forgotten their paintbrush which transformed itself into the broom in beauty and the beast. The dry marks, ranging from big as a few inches to as small as a dot, randomly decorate my face and head. I guess I have an identity now.

I may have an identity from my appearance, but no one really cares for me except those staff workers who really don’t just want to deal with my smell. Every day I am used and every day I stay still, accepting all their problems as they stuff my mouth with their problems. They see me yet they continue and they walk away happy to have gotten rid of it. Out of sight, out of mind some might say. But it is still there. I carry their ugly problems and all of their bad problems creates this nasty smell inside of me that chases people away. It’s a mix of rotten fruit, stained paper, dirty napkins, unfinished food, and crinkly little wrappers. All of these ugly things live within me and the worst part is that I have to taste them and until I am emptied I carry their problems in my stomach. I see their identity in their little problems as my mouth is opened and such. They think their problem is lost but I am just a part of the process, the little worker who continues this specific movement. They give me their problems, I give their problems to the staff workers, who give it to the trash company, who take it to the landfills and bury them away as if hiding them will give them a better image.

I realize that this is what I am. An agent. Instead of being valued for being such an important asset to them, I am forgotten, left just a little away from my corner. My lower body bears my weight, and is worn and dusty from all my age. Those staff workers try to hide my age with constant dusting . But that bag is always there. I am always present, yet always forgotten, and I carry all these problems and I carry all these scars. That paint has already stained and there is nothing I can change. I live in silence and I live in noise I have to live with my smell and my life as the forever holder of other’s problems. I might be considered disgusting.