People in New York envy weird things. For example, someone who has more than 600 square feet of apartment is living in luxury. Anyone with a backyard will no doubt have me showing up at their doorstep every weekend with a fold-out chair and tanning oil. And godforbid you have a rooftop pool, you better believe I’ll be moving in with you for the next month. Do you have a gym in your building? Well, that’s a guarantee that all you’ll see of me is the could of dust after I ran away.
Bottom line–it doesn’t take much make a New Yorker feel envy. My building’s super isn’t the best at keeping our building tidy. The floors of our lobby and elevator always seems a little grimy, our lobby plants never live longer than a couple of weeks and I swear our front lock has been broken since the day I moved in. But I love my apartment so much that none of these things tend to bother me. However, our garbage situation is, in a word, horrible. I never know where to throw garbage bags vs. paper recycling vs. glass and plastic recycling. Next to our building, you’ll just find a giant pile of bags and glass and boxes and paper.
I never thought in my life I would ever envy someone else’s garbage. But our neighbor’s super does such an amazing job at keeping their garbage clean, tidy and separated, that it makes our building look like a landfill next to it. The neighbor has trash cans clearly labeled for TRASH, PAPER and PLASTIC. The receptacles are separated to lessen any confusion. They always are lined with clean, not-over-flowing garbage bags and once a week, I see him out there bleaching the empty trash cans to eliminate germs.
Yesterday morning I had Bebop out for a walk and as I left my building, I saw my super outside doing his normal pre-trash day routine of separating the landfill that had built up around our building. It usually takes him most of the day to do from what I’ve seen in the past. I couldn’t help but think of him as I got my croissant and in an effort to improve his quality of life, I bought him one as well along with a coffee. I already felt better about our trash situation–I mean, of course a happy super will be more willing to keep our trash area tidy! I was certain that my gesture would single-handedly solve our trouble. The entire building would have to shower me with thank you gifts. As I walked up to my building, I saw no super. I just saw a trail of half-finished, half-separated garbage. I went down to our building’s basement and when the elevator doors opened, a rush of smoke puffed into my face. Not cigarette smoke–but THAT kind of smoke. I coughed and entered the cloud, calling out his name. Within moments, his wide red eyes appeared before me looking shaky and nervous.
“Here,” I said, “it looked like you could use some of this.” I handed him the croissant and coffee and he took it saying a quiet thank you.
It’s no wonder it takes him so long to separate the garbage–but then again, if that was my job to go through everyone’s trash and make sure they recycled every last bit, I’d probably have to get high before going to work, too.