Other people and garbage
when i was in the metro i was so wrapped up, so absorbed in salinity, like a mollusc stuck on a rock—i got off, went up the stairs like all the others shuffling in black coats; i looked up because i sensed you. i saw. a black braid wrapped in a bun on top of her head. the graduate student. a night sky coat with so many buckles dangling. eyebrows like comets streaking, about to collide. mini heart attack near the photo booth.
i’m garbage i hear all the girls saying these days. i’m garbage while posing slumped over a water fountain. i’m garbage while lying amongst some empty cans in the grass in the park. why always posing? why always garbage? i try to understand as an outsider.
i see the graduate student pose on the floor in the door frame, extending both into an office and the hallway, after class, after hours, as her friend takes a cell phone picture as she says languidly, i’m garbage.
i can’t say i know what is going on. it’s in her, this feeling, and i have only overheard just one phrase. in the elevator without pressing a button i think of the contrast between garbage and genius.
garbage. garbage. garbage. repeated, it starts to sound beautiful. in the 15th century garbage meant animal entrails.
i took a buzzfeed quiz called what kind of garbage are you? the quiz was written by a woman.
someone said, Sometimes people want to go on believing they are garbage. i think i understand. for a week i laid down on the dirty kitchen floor to feel closer to it. no one can pull you out of the can. what are two things you can’t fix?
i’m interested in why i keep overhearing women saying, i’m garbage. i’m interested in this quiz which tells you if you are a pizza box or a crumpled piece of paper or a styrofoam cup. Eileen Myles wrote, Some people are so sure they aren’t loved they’ll throw themselves to the task of being hateful. or maybe being garbage: unwanted, useless, refuse.