So, there’s a garbage chute in my building.
It’s a small innocuous looking door in the wall on the landing.
When we moved in I wondered if it was functional. Was it at an unspoken rule that nobody used this chute? If it was, why wasn’t there some tape across it or a sign? Is it possible there was a small pile of forgotten refuse gathering force in a dark extremity of the garage?
It kinda stressed me out.
And then I saw my neighbor use it a few times.
I mean, it would be great if I could just toss garbage down the chute instead of walking down two flights of stairs and into the garage every time. I checked the garage. Every garbage can of allocated color was accounted for. There was no chute.
I finally asked my downstairs neighbor. She took pity on me and took me to the garage to reveal the closet hidden away in the corner containing the mouth of the chute and one large garbage can.
Euphoria. Now all I need is a dumb-waiter to bring my groceries up.
So, on Sunday morning the first thing I did, as it is every morning, was to change Baby’s diaper.
It was a big one, full, weighted heavy with specimens of both types of waste, if you know what I mean, and I feel that you do. You’ve changed that diaper, too.
Well, the elder two were asleep, and I didn’t want to go back into their bedroom to throw it away, so I tossed it down the chute, from the third story. And then we went to church.
When we got back from church I noticed something that alarmed me.
ALL the garbage cans were in the garage, ALL of them, even the one from the closet.
I ran to the closet. There was the mouth of the chute with no can underneath. I checked the mouth of the garbage can. I couldn’t see the diaper. I checked the floor of the closet. There was something sticky smeared across the floor, but it looked and smelled like food. It could not be diaper contents. But… No, I don’t think it could.
Did the diaper fall in the trash can? Or was the poor ninety year old Chinese guy who bikes around and handles our garbage charged with sweeping up a substantial diaper off the floor that had dropped from three stories up?
I was sure I had heard the satisfying swoosh and fwump, hadn’t I? But, hadn’t I?
The world may never know.