• Ken Ilgunas

Eating trash for the first time


George: It wasn't down in, it was sort of on top.

Jerry: But it was in the cylinder.

George: Above the rim.

Jerry: Adjacent to refuse, is refuse.

George: It was on a magazine and it still had the doily on it.

Jerry: Was it eaten?

George: One little bite.

Jerry: Well, that's garbage.

George: I know who took the bite. It was her aunt.

Jerry: You my friend have crossed the line that divides MAN and BUM. You are now a BUM.


I guess that officially makes me a bum. But it was hardly trash…


It was 2 am and I was in my secret room where–after the library closes–I go to do homework, to listen to internet radio, and–if the mood strikes me–to dance my ass off. This room has a projector and surround sound, too. After a little tinkering I got it to work. Here I am watching Dark Days in my personal theater.

I had forgotten to bring snacks from the van so after five straight hours of schoolwork I got pretty hungry. Too lazy to walk the half-mile to my van, I began eyeing a stack of Panera meal boxes on top of the garbage bin. Oh, I could just have a little looksy, I thought.


In the top box (that was above the rim) was a half eaten sandwich, an unopened plastic container of salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, a pancake-sized chocolate chip cookie, and a bag of organic potato chips. It couldn’t have been older than a day. Besides, it was from Panera… I ate everything (except the sandwich) with a hearty gusto. A bum I may be.