So I once had to illegally dump a dead dog that was stored inside a plastic sealable trash bin into the rural high school dumpster that was about 3-5 miles from our house sometime between 1AM-3AM. I apologize for that run on sentence.
Anyway, I lived with my mother in isolation at the time. During my first year in Hell, when I was still attending highschool, we would commute the 1 hour and 11 minutes from Hell to Purgatory. My mother didn’t want me attending the schools in the Hell school district. After a while, she started leaving me in Purgatory for a week or two at at time. Sometimes she’d say she was coming to get me and then never show up, messaging me the next day. Sometimes she didn’t show up until 3 or 4AM.
I was lucky, during that time I was able to stay with my boyfriend’s (so, my ex is trans and at the time s/he with my girlfriend but out of respect I’ll be using the masculine pronouns) family .
Ugh, smells. Don’t you hate when you’re trying to transcribe a memory and you get bombarded by flashback smells?
When I wasn’t staying with them, sometimes I’d stay with my other best friend, Miss Fantastic (Pseudonyms for all). I’m not sure why I thought Hell was better than Purgatory. At least I got my own room in Hell. I had zero privacy except in the bathrooms when I was in Purgatory and that’s challenging for a teenage girl. Eventually my mother got tired of leaving me in Purgatory all the time and at the beginning of my Junior year of highschool decided to withdraw me.
Hell sat on 23 acres of land, with a faulty well and disfunctioning propane tank. The closest town was 11 miles away. There was little to no water pressure at times, let alone hot water. There was a long period without running water. Bottled water can get expensive, let me tell you. There werre few outlets in the dilapidated two bedroom house. Flooring was a combination hardwood, tile, and lineoleum. For the longest time we didn’t have a mop and with over a hundred cats and three to seven dogs at any given time the floors got absolutely disgusting.
I got a mop for my birthday the first year we lived there. My mom used to joke about how excited I was to get a mop. I just wanted to clean the filth, we were literally living in filth. I wasn’t allowed to eat breakfast until after chores were done. “Chores” meant one to three hours of cleaning up cat filth. She liked to use the word messes, because somehow that’s so much cleaner. Feeding the cats and dogs, watering the cats and dogs. Scooping the 8 litter boxes, the stench of it strong in the back of my throat.
So many of the cats were sick. They had an incurable, severely contagious diarrhea and upper respiratory infection that spread to the entire population within a year. Most of the cats did not have solid stools and were at least slightly underweight. My mother… she spent at least $10/day on dry cat food alone. Not including litter, dog food, wet food, she spent over $300/month on dry cat food alone. She used to tell me “it costs more to feed a kid than it does to feed a cat”. Now that I’m an adult I know that is demonstrably untrue.
I had to learn how to neuter cats on a kitchen table by stuffing their heads in a boot. No anesthetic. Or when I had to give a lethal injection to a deformed newborn kitten… I couldn’t do it, my boyfriend did it for me. Seeing a mother cat give birth to eight still borns, or worse, when the mothers would kill their newborns if they weren’t watched.
We buried A LOT of cats. Very few died of old age.
But, now that you know the setting of Hell, I can finish telling you about trash bandits.
There was no trash pick up in Hell and we didn’t have a burn pit. So, we would collect trash and store it in my mother’s ex-boyfriend’s old car that was parked under one of the two lean-tos. When it got full, we would load up the back of her Ford with trash and sometimes haul it down to Purgatory to dump it illegally at my sister’s complex. Other times between 1AM-3AM we would secretly drive down to the closest dumpster which happened to be at a highschool and dump our trash in the shadows, keeping a look out for cops.
I coined the term Trash Bandits. It made her laugh. It was hard to make her laugh.
I’m emotionally exhausted now.