If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


26 FEBRUARY 2017

Sitting in the Sun

DELFT - Last week's column had the effect of putting me in an old-fashioned, last-century funk. That is slang for depressed. Sure, I did cook, washed clothes and all, but I was in a funk. The worst was the day I went to recycle.

I've recycled as long as I've known what it was - and why it was. Even living out in the county in Texas, I loaded the pickup and hauled beer cans and all the rest to the recycle in Alvin regularly. Thus, I sack it all and put it in or tie it on to my slep cart, one of those bags on two wheels that old folks have for groceries. The weather was very fierce the day I resolved to take it out; wind was gusty and rain from all directions, made me think of hurricane winds. No matter, recycle is one of those important things, and off I went.


"On my way to the pharmacy / apotheek the one really fine day we had, I happened upon a woman sitting on a bench reading a book. She had a walker so it was not an easy stroll to get there, but the sunshine was sweet, the sky was clear and a good book was in hand."

For a moment, I thought I might collect it, but that was not possible. All of it was wildly flying about in the air or floating in the canal. The length of time it took me to consider scrambling to get it, it was gone. I looked around and saw there was no one else on the street.

I went on to the recycle bins as I still had the bottles, dumped them civilly and went home. I figured my trash was half-way to Rotterdam by now. It is one of those things that happens which rarely happens but when it does, you can only hang on. True, I've seen garbage in the canal before and usually felt high-minded about that. Perhaps a little more open-mindedness was wanted on my part. Days after, all was as if it never occurred: it was gloriously sunny.

I had to work hard to hold on to the slep cart and keep myself from being blown away - literally. The cart had bottles, a sack of paper, another paper sack tied on and last a sack of plastic. Because of my partner being out of town, I'd put it off.

I make it to the corner of Oosteinde (Eastend) and Oranje (House of Orange, my street) and staggered along, grim and jaw set - determined. The wind picked up! Now I was wobbling and nervous about the canal just beside me.

I could imagine the headline: "Stupid man goes out in gale and ends in canal." I kept on and reached the Jena school just before the bridge. I've not been in winds like that: the plastic sack was ripped off, opened and scattered far and wide.

Next the tied-on paper sack exploded, and every kind of paper waste was hurled out over the canal. It mixed with the plastic; I drink a lot of coca cola because I like it. I stood watching plastic coke bottles all over the street. I could only look at it.

My week without the company of my partner is ending today; she is back tomorrow. I need to clean, vacuum, wash up, go shopping. She and I have differing ideas of 'house'. And I need to let my funk, along with my trash, fly away in the wind.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen