Commonplace Mysteries #1

A new series – based on strange or slightly surreal events I’ve observed. And of course, stretched a bit, for the purpose of good storytelling.   -Cortney

COMMONPLACE MYSTERIES:
The Strange Incident of the Recycle Bin

I came home one day and there it was. As usual. An array of empty recycle bins strewn across the sidewalk.

This is a typical sight on a Thursday afternoon. I thought nothing of it, since most people don’t get home until later in the day, and many more don’t pick up their bins until one, two, maybe three days later. No big deal. People are busy.

But one bin in particular lingered. Even after all the others had disappeared. And it wouldn’t bother me… actually, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed… except that it lingered exactly in front of my house. And I mean right there. It was the first thing I saw when I left in the morning, and it greeted me as I got home from work in the evening.

Then the homeowners association left a little warning tag on my doorknob. Okay, really? This recycle bin does not belong to me. I don’t recycle, I don’t have a bin. It’s not my responsibility. But the HOA tag is requiring me to take action. So I do.

I put the bin in front of my neighbor’s house.

When I get home the next day, guess what I see. There’s that bad penny, right in front of my house again. I guess I get the point. It’s a tightly plotted little townhouse community, and a few inches one way or the other is all we get. I was politely being informed that not only does the bin not belong to Neighbor On The Left, but that until the rightful owner is identified, please keep the stupid bin off my property. That’s my interpretation.

Not to be outdone, I slide the bin over to the right. And it lives there for a few days.

And then it’s back in front of my house. Not like it’s been put there, but almost like it went there. I’m serious. It’s like it just moved over.

I ignored it.

That night there was a huge storm. I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of winds hurling against the house, pushing tree branches around and swirling freshly raked yards with leaves. Most unhallowed of all was the gentle ruckus of the recycle bin being blown around the sidewalk.

So next morning I went out in my socks, picked it up, and put it on the deck. There. Happy?

Next day I go out to get the trash? The bin is gone. Poof.

Sometimes on stormy nights I still hear the abandoned recycle bin being blown across the sidewalk. And I really just don’t care.

© Cortney Matz, 2009

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