I woke up in a garbage dump. I don’t know how exactly I got there, or how long I was there. All I could tell you was that I woke up in a garbage dump.
There was a harsh ringing in ears; it felt like I had spent the night before diving head-first into industrial machinery. It wasn’t a hangover, it just hurt my head. I sat up, slowly, on my bed of God Knows What, and reached into my pocket. I found my wallet, thankfully. All of my cash and credit cards were inside, along with my ID and my “Regular Customer Badge” for Ralph’s Grocer (“The Home of the Triple Coupon!”). I was glad that I hadn’t been mugged or pickpocketed, if nothing else.
Now it was time to prioritize. I needed to find my way back home. Wherever that was. For all I know, I could’ve been several states away. I made my way down to the dump’s entrance, avoiding the wide staring eyes of the roadkill paving my path. Death is never a pretty sight. It was too much; I began moving faster, keeping my head up to ignore the smell of the rotting flesh and the sight of glassy, accusing eyes piercing into my brain. I got to the gate, where I let all my disgust out in an equally nasty, liquified way. When I was done, I opened the fence and made my way back to civilization.
After what seemed like an eternity wandering around aimlessly, I found some familiar territory: the Parkway-Matthews Shopping Center. It was a complete shit-hole, almost as bad as the dump. On any given day, you could find one of the following mall archetypes:
Loud, obnoxious teenaged brats blocking every walkway in sight. Sometimes intentionally.
Mean, crotchedly old folks who lived at the rest home less than a block away.
Overcompensating security who enjoyed harassing me. I guess because, unlike the mobs of horrible children, I was alone. Being alone makes me easier to approach, I guess?
Suicidal staff members full of ennui and broken dreams. It’s easier to find things yourself than to ask them for any help.
I hated this place, and I would never come here had the circumstances not been so strange. All I had to do was wait out front for the next bus, hoping security or any bored police officers wouldn’t bother me. I give off a suspicious vibe for some reason, even though I’ve never done anything wrong. The bus could take me to my place, and put an end to this bizarre morning. It would be a pretty good story to tell, right? No, of course not.
Time passed, and I found my apartment. I lived with two roommates, so even if I forgot my key (I did), I could get in without a problem. Looked like they were both home.
“Hello? Can I help you?”
“Yeah, it’s me. Man, I don’t know what happened last night but…”
“I’m sorry, who are you?”
“Um, heh heh. Me. You know, your roommate? The guy who lives with you?”
“I think you may have the wrong place. It’s just me and my boyfriend here.”
“Wait, what’s going on!?”
The girl at the door looked over her shoulder, to see if anyone was around. When she figured out she was safe, she looked at me again. Her tone changed, and her brow furrowed.
“Get the hell out! We don’t have a use for you anymore!”
Slam! Went the door, and I was alone and confused all over again. With nowhere left to go, I slowly turned and made my way back to my new home at the city dump.
And that is my story. A story of a man who found himself tossed aside like garbage. Maybe, one of these days, I’ll find out the reason why. But until then, I would appreciate it if you would keep your feet off of the upholstery! That couch still has at least two good seats left on it!