Small Adventures in Taking Out the Trash

short stories I collected weekly from the curb

original photo by Shane Rounce

Walk the dog

I heard a jingle approaching in the street just ahead of my driveway. I look up and a dog stops — in the middle of the road, mind you — turns and looks right at me. When I beckon it over with a click of my tongue, it takes off running down the street. I lose sight of it and notice a car, headlights on and motor running, parked a few houses down. The car heads towards me and drives on.

I can only assume with the dog at the wheel.

♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️

Starry bite

The stars shone brightly in the night sky. The air was crisp and not a cloud in sight. The moon, half bitten, hung low in the distance.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️

Out of the bag

I knocked into the corner of the raised flower bed as I tried to maneuver the bins around the car. The recyclables poured out onto the driveway.

As I stopped to pick up the spill, I heard a little jingling and immediately looked around to see if another furry friend wandered into my night. I saw a dark tail against the white fence on the other side of the driveway. The cat from next door hopped back over to its side. I finish picking up what fell and as I closed the lid, I heard the jingling again.

It was the zipper on my jacket. The cat had to have been laughing at me.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️

Sweet and lo

Snowflakes fell lightly, not enough to gather. Just a light dusting, like powdered sugar on an already frosted cake.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️

Special K

The “K” I made in the snow (for my wife) when I shoveled earlier was bolder now by contrast. A drizzle had melted the surrounding slush, so it stood out against the black backdrop of the driveway. I smiled warmly thinking about how upset my daughter was that it started to melt away.

I took a picture with my phone for safekeeping.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️


The sound of an airplane flying overhead greeted me as I came outside. The slow roar above faded as a slow whir of distant cars approached. One passed and another took up its auditory torch crossing the nearby main street. A police van drove out of sight.

I paused in the quiet, waiting for the night to share anything further. The passing storm of sound and the still that followed would have to do.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️

Almost forgot

Ugh. I cannot believe I almost forgot to bring the bins to the curb. I was thisclose to just staying in bed and letting it go until next week, but the recycle needs to go this week. Wait, does it? My neighbors don’t have their blue bins out. Fuck it, I dragged my ass out of bed, rolled these loud fuckers this far this late, I’m not going back.

Pelicans? Is that pelicans? Wait, do pelicans even make that sound? Or sound at all? Of course they make sound, I think. But it’s not that sound. It’s more like a seagull. Yeah, that’s definitely the sound a seagull makes.

There are definitely no seagulls around here. There’s no sea. Can there be seagulls where there’s no sea? Yeah! Yeah? There’s a river, but... I need to get to bed.

♻️ ♲ ♻️ ♲ ♻️


I was whistled at. By the wind. I will still take it as a compliment.

There is certainly unsettling, though, about strong winds. Especially when you don’t feel them yet still hear them overhead.

Later that night, while watching the Yankee game, I heard some banging out front. The wind had flipped up the top of the garbage bin. I went out, flipped it shut and came back inside.

A few innings later, it began banging in harmony with the neighbors’ bin. I let it be. The game ended and I went to bed. There would be no more trips to the curb. Not tonight at least…

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