Garbage Trucks of Discontent
by Caroline M. Yoachim
The first sign of trouble is a garbage truck. My cameras catch it at the corner of 72nd Avenue and Eagle Street. It stops in front of TimTam's--the more popular of the two vegan bakeries within my perimeter. The owners, Tim and Tammy, are facing a lawsuit from an Australian food company that sells chocolate biscuits. In 96% of simulated outcomes, they lose, which is a shame. The regulars at the bakery are some of my favorite citizens.
The garbage truck isn't causing any trouble, just picking up trash. The problem is that it isn't one of my trucks. It's printed on both sides with Trashtruck Co., and the hopper is blue instead of green. A check of the license plate confirms that the truck is from Prima Senti, the first sentient city and my neighbor to the east. I've caught garbage trucks from other cities on camera before, but never actually collecting within my limits. This truck gets everything on Eagle Street: several blocks of row houses, Debbie's Pancake Shack, Black Rose Tattoo, and Nectar. It turns right onto 75th Avenue and heads back to Prima Senti.
The truck is taking part of me with it. I'm not worried about the garbage it holds--everything from our state goes to the waste management center in Prima Senti to be sorted and processed. Garbage always ends up in the same place, and is of no consequence. The bigger problem is control. Eagle Street is my street. The young couples in the row houses are my couples, and the drunks on the outdoor patio at Nectar are my drunks.