A Day in Three Parts. PT 1: The Route
Part One of my Three Part Day started at Kelly Adlington’s front door at 6:15. I traversed the steps to find her in the kitchen with a fresh jar of coffee and the beginnings of breakfast, as promised.
“Alright, so what’s the plan?”
She showed me her Curbside Compost pickup list for the day, briefly explaining my role as the Bucket Slanger/Recorder, and she the Driver. We organized the empty buckets in the bed of our monster 350 XL, and took towards the road. I checked the list as she upshifted the beast down Fremont Street loudly.
“ALRIGHT- STARTING AT BARTNIK’S! 1233 5THAVE!”
We roared to my place and picked up our buckets. I’d hoped Fanni and Ella may come out to wave, but no such luck. Next, to Union, Meadow and 2nd Street, on Kelly’s well-calibrated route.
“HOLY SHIT THIS THING IS LOUD!”
“I KNOW! IT’S FUNNY, BECAUSE YESTERDAY OREN MADE A SLIGHT REPAIR ON THE MUFFLER, AND WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH QUIETER IT WAS. I DON’T THINK IT’S ALL THAT MUCH QUIETER!”
Stop by stop, she pulled up; I hopped out, swapped empty buckets for full ones, and we roared again. She gave me a brief history lesson about many of our members as we cruised.
“YEAH, SO THIS IS MONICA’S DANCE TEACHER; WHO’S ALSO OUR CSA MEMBER. SHE RESPONDED TO MY EMAIL SAYING THAT SHE LOVES HER SHARE. IT WAS REALLY NICE.”
“WE ACTUALLY MET ANNA FROM DADDIO’S THROUGH COMPOST, AND IT JUST WENT FROM THERE. THEY BRING THEIR BUCKETS IN FROM AMHERST. I ACTUALLY SAW HER AT THE BREWERY ONE NIGHT RECENTLY…”
We parked in front of the Main Grain, and I exchanged their three buckets before hopping inside for a Blackberry Lavender Brownie. The truck roared menacingly outside the front door as I chatted with Sarah Jo. She seemed a bit put off by the monstrosity outside her shop, so I made haste and hit the road. As we cruised, I couldn’t help but notice that nobody failed to notice us. Something about the general appearance and loudness of the XL, coupled with the conspicuous buckets in the back and attractive young woman driver seemed to attract a great deal of attention. From construction workers to recreation walkers to commuters, we turned every head on our voyage through the front and back streets of town.
“YEAH, THIS GROUP OF KIDS IS ALWAYS MEETING HERE AT THIS TIME FOR THE LAST FEW WEEKS. IT’S KIND OF FUNNY…”
The kids all dropped their conversations and watched us pass; somewhat slack-jawed. On to Lee Street we went, where Danny met us at the curb, smiling easily with a steaming cup of coffee. We chatted briefly and took off again, entering a shared moment of bliss with our relatively new reality.
“ISN’T IT JUST CRAZY THAT WE JUST HAVE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE AROUND TOWN NOW THAT WE DO ALL THESE COOL THINGS WITH? WE JUST GOT TOGETHER AND STARTED IT ALL UP… SOMETIMES I JUST CAN’T BELIEVE IT!”
“I KNOW; I THINK ABOUT THAT ALL THE TIME!”
Full buckets in; empty buckets out. Next stop: 1579 Church Street. Hey, I recognize this place.
I hopped out, exchanged buckets and hopped back into the truck. The front door opened and Oren ambled out. At times so imposing, he looked hilariously juvenile at this early hour: domed bedhead mop on his head; pale, skinny legs, and glitter-eyed smile.
“Yo, if you hadn’t slammed the door, I wouldn’t have even heard you.”
It wasn’t true. We laughed and chatted for our extended minute, as he eyed the bitten quarter-brownie in the seat between us. “Yo, you eatin’ that brownie or what?”
I handed him the last bite, and he plodded happily back towards his house as we roared off to Boyington Ave, and all of the future buckets awaiting us. Heads turned; we laughed. Last stops: Ruby Coffee and Father Fats. We loaded up their many buckets and made our way for the gas station. “So what’s the plan after this?”
“After this, I’m taking you home.”
It was true. Wonderful though the route was, it had come to an end. Kelly dropped me off at the curb like an empty bucket, and roared off into the day — back to the farm to weigh and dump the buckets we’d collected. I grabbed our fresh empties and headed towards the back door, preparing myself mentally for Part Two.