Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Great Moving Weekend has come and gone in Boston and the surrounding suburbs. Over 300,000 college students are now back in the area. And in front of almost every house lie heaps of unwanted furniture that should have gone to Goodwill. The garbage truck and its crew of three un-uniformed immigrant workers just took from my house a twin mattress (a couch had also been put out by the new neighbors but vanished in less than an hour). From the next house came a white couch, thrown into the truck with all its cushions in place. From the house after that, a blue box spring and mattress. From the house after that, an ottoman. From the house after that, another couch and what sounded like a steel bedframe. The truck's exhaust-spewing diesel engine struggled as the compactor blade gnarled through suffocating mounds of fabric, wood, filling, and spring--not to mention the rest of the week's pungent trash. The late summer air lay thick with the smell of waste as the three brown-skinned men hopped into and on the truck and piloted it uphill toward the next mound of crap.



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