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Trash Day
5:07 to 5:47 A.M., 8/11/16
© 2016 James LaFond
In the bushes to the left the crickets sang their saw-winged song.
On the highway to the right headlights beamed and glared, blinding the hiker as he marched to the stop, wanting nothing but to catch the last bus before the rush.
On the asphalt black, below a deep blue sky, in the band of darkness below the tree line, trucks whined onward, blowing the sweat from his face, pasting the shirt to the hard gut, where once their was a tapering waist.
The warble of tires on asphalt, the rush of wind around box-faced cars, is a mere rhythm section to the insect symphony.
Having covered a mile in 11 minutes he sweats at the bus stop, glancing at the pre-dawn sky, streaked in grey, promising a sweltering day.
The hissing machine brakes at the concrete curb, kneeling like a circus elephant.
The dark operator of the bus sneers at him, shaking his head with disgust as the low-dressed, paleface boarder says, "Thank you, sir."
After a 15 minute nap on the racing bus, he wakes, rings the bell, sees that the driver will not stop for him, but shifts to the center lane away from the stop.
At the driver's shoulder the boarder growls, "Next stop," and the sullen Negro wanes obedient.
As the bus pulls up against the driver's will the boarder, says, "Thank you, sir."
The boarder steps off as the driver responds with a restive grumble and banks away from the curb, the big boxy machine hissing like a thousand snakes.
The airbrakes of a trash truck scream down the way, as the hungry machine squeaks and begins to crush another gulp in its rear-facing mouth of steel painted green.
Above sullied Dawn has streaked the sky with Her dirty nails, laced with sooty wisps of cloud, scudding along under a vault not yet streaked with jet trails.
Up the ridgeline he walks, alone among the stirring ape pens, as the garbage-gorged crows take heavy flight and drape this warren of fiends with the hag's well-earned morning shroud.
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