I heard it before I saw it.
The short grumbling acceleration, the sharp stopping, the sound of glass breaking.
The rubbish truck.
The rubbish truck!
I made a quick calculation in my head.
Nope, no amount of bra-less rushing down the stairs down the driveway to the kerb was going to save this one.
I missed it.
It was the first time I had missed the rubbish truck at this house.
Why did it feel like I had completely failed?
I’ve mainly lived in apartments or other strata-clusters of units. In these joints, you take your bins out to the big bins in the big bin area of about 15 bigger bins.
The truck takes care of it from there. There’s no remembering if it was bin day or not. The truck came to the bins, you didn’t bring the bins to the truck.
It was yet another thing that happened that reminded me, in a practical way, that I was alone.
I’ve been a lot quieter than usual.
There have been a lot of changes at work, but where I would normally feel my most comfortable, my most sure-footed, I feel like I’m floating through the day like I’m a ghost.
Where before I would animatedly get amongst the fray, I get on with it without a word, while the newsroom goes on and on without me. Where there was conversation, is now just bare-bones communication.
I get home and, instead of dissecting the day over the assembly of a stir fry with The Mister, I simply take off my shoes, throw my keys on the coffee table and peel open another single-serving Fancy Feast. For the cat. Not me. Things aren’t that grim. Yet.
I’m convinced there are 3 year olds who have a later bedtime than I at the moment. And I’m sure I’m up before most small children whine their parents awake.
It’s easy, but it’s not easy.
Every day I walk past the room he has kept for more than a year. Other than a bookshelf and roughly-made bed with linen I’ve never slept in, it’s empty.
The white dinosaurs we had as centrepieces at our wedding that are scattered around the house have attracted a fine dander of dust.
The triceratops still has The Mister’s wedding band hanging off it’s face-horn. Mine are on the T-Rex’s useless little arm.
Sometimes I absent-mindedly open his old wardrobe to pull out a DVD or blanket. The price I pay isn’t just coming face-to-face with the few clothes he hasn’t picked up yet… it’s the barely-there-but-still-there scent of his aftershave that forces me back down the rabbit-hole.
Where he lives now, there aren’t as many reminders of me as there are of him here.
The bloody bins.
When he left for the last time, it was the last thing he told me.
Put the bins out on a Wednesday night.