The Sanitation Department

She heard the truck coming. Donna’s house was the last one on the dead end street. The truck would have to make three more stops before reaching her driveway.

Trash pickup was scheduled twice a week and because Donna entertained frequently her trash can was usually close to being full of heavy bottles, jars and other such garbage. Twice a week she pulled the large, plastic, wheeled can to the end of the driveway and anticipated the truck driver, Mr. Larry’s arrival.

As she sat on the window seat watching for the truck her mind started wandering to the previous pick up day. Her city was under a heat advisory that week. Mr. Larry’s shirt was almost totally wet with sweat. He had rolled the short sleeves up to his shoulders. Donna loved the sight of those huge, well defined biceps as he hoisted the trash can upside down to empty it into the truck. His swift, graceful movements made lifting the heavy can look like an easy feat.

Suddenly she realized that the truck had reached her driveway and had stopped directly in front of the trash can. She could feel the increase in her heart rate as she anticipated Mr. Larry’s exit from the truck.

There was a cool glass of lemonade on the table next to the door waiting for her to scoop up and take to Mr. Larry. Donna rushed to the door, grabbed the cool glass then suddenly stopped in her tracks as the glass door revealed a disappointing sight.

Mr. Larry was hardly visible through the windshield of the new automated, air conditioned truck. Operating levers inside the truck, he was able to grab the trash can with long arms on the front of the truck. Those arms lifted the can up and turned it upside down over the top of the truck which was open to the sky.

He had emptied the trash can and was backing down out of the street before Donna could regain her senses and set the quickly warming glass of lemonade down on the entrance table. As she set the glass down she noticed this morning’s mail.

On the top of the stack of mail was a notice about new, more efficient equipment recently purchased by the city. Looking closely she realized that the return address on the postcard stated that the notice was from the city’s sanitation department. Donna would have to be satisfied with memories of Mr. Larry’s biceps in action.


03/03/2021 at 8:36 am

Loved the anticipation of it all!

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