We were walking as zombies on over to the church of John Coltrane

The Fast and the Furious with wheelbarrows.


I just finished reading Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh, about a garbage man-turned-hit man in post-apocalyptic New York City. A sequel is in the works.

It's hokey but it's true. You learn things hauling trash.

Lesson one. Don't buy cheap bags. They always tear. If not in your hands, then in mine. No discount bag ever went to its grave without being loudly cursed along the way.

Lesson two. There is nothing, and no one, that you will become attached to in this life that you will not one day discard.

Or they discard you.

Or you die.

Those are the only outcomes.

Lesson three.

You'll leave a trail of trash on this Earth that will far exceed anything of worth you leave behind. For every ounce of heirloom, you'll leave a ton of landfill.

Your real legacy will be buried in a dump somewhere.

And the richer you are, the more trash you leave behind.

After the first attacks, the ones on 9/11, so they tell me, they took the rubble of the towers to a landfill.

Fresh Kills.

Sifted through it, searching for bodies. Bits of bodies. Bits of bits. Did their best and found what they could and left the rest of it there, buried.

True story.

Landfill became a graveyard.

The landfill doesn't care.

Never more than a whisper of difference between them to begin with. [61-62]

Rick is fortysomething, but he's smoked himself older. [78]

I may have once had some thin faith in something like cosmic justice, but now I believe in box-cutters. [153]

Spademan, stop it. It's suicide.

I shrug.

Here's the part I can't explain to Mark.

It's been a long time since I needed to do something.

I've done a lot of things, but not out of need.

And I've learned there are a lot of ways, and ugly places, where things can end.

Backyards. Garbage bags. Subway trains.

Most people don't get to choose. [188-189]


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