At the Dumpster

She was several steps before me and went to the recycle bins first. When she turned back to the big dumpster, we met face to face. I was carrying six bags of garbage—all plastic bags which have been a source of my guilt for quite a while as somebody deserving a scolding by an environmentalist. My arms raised, though with difficulty, and the garbage thrown in amid several thumps to the bottom of the dumpster. “Strong woman.” She said. I tried to say something, but never quick at reciprocating, I didn’t know what to say. Fortunately she didn’t wait for me to say anything. She just continued, “just like me.” I said “yes”, nodded my head vigorously, and smiled my best smile. How dumb I am. I never know what to say to a stranger. She walked to her car. I watched her, admiring her. Of what? I don’t really know, but I know she has skills that I don’t have

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