TRASH… That’s What You Are; Don’t Hurt Me Anymore
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
(2 photos taken by me… Gloria Faye Brown Bates)
You sit there on your park bench in your tattered clothes, your wrinkled, dry skin. I don’t want to see your eyes filled with despair; I don’t want to see the pain in your eyes. You are… disgusting. You are no more than the piece of newspaper, I see blowing down the sidewalk.
Don’t look at me… don’t you dare look at me! Inside my chest, my heart turns … away. You are not touching my heart; I won’t let you. I stand here at the door of my warehouse … oh, my wonderful warehouse of my most prized possessions.
I remember when it used to be in my little closet. That’s where I began to collect my most treasured things. I kept them safely there; and from there… my collection of possessions… grew.
Over time, I became so rich, successful… my collection grew. I collected things so valuable. If I even considered taking just one little thing out of my warehouse… and sold it, gave it to you… why, you would be wealthy. Just one little prized possession could bring you, a homeless person… such happiness. I’m just not going to do it!
I can’t part with not one possession in my warehouse. No matter that it sits here, collecting dust, I ‘can’t let go’. I mean to take it with me to my grave… I don’t want to help anyone. I want everyone to envy me, wish for what I have… I’m so rich!
I love to look at you sitting over there in your filth, stinking of your enviroment. Do you know ‘why’? Because I know I have the power to help you if… I chose to. If I helped you, how else could I be entertained.
You aren’t real; you aren’t anybody. You are no more to me than that piece of newspaper blowing in the wind. Trash… trash… that’s what you are. No one cares about trash… they only want it… thrown away.
As I look at you, I catch a glimpse of something shiny in my peripheal vision. I turn to look behind me… oh my, I feel such happiness looking at my huge warehouse… full of my wonderful possessions! Happiness is what I feel inside… I couldn’t bear to part with even one thing…. the idea of it makes me feel panicky! No, ‘all this is mine, mine, mine’!
I smile as my eyes caress the object that got my attention. It’s a jeweled horse; actually the whole carousel sparkles in the ray of sunlight that shines through the opened door. Just looking at it takes my breath away!
I stand in the doorway of my warehouse, letting you see me savor the wonderful feeling of owning so much. You sit there in your stench, with your rheumy eyes, stringy hair… you can’t even comb your hair; you don’t own a comb.
My eyes move back to that shiny carousel… just one horse from it could make your pitiful life wonderful… selling just one horse from that carousel would make change your life… you would think a fairy God mother stood in front of your nasty ass… waved her wand with the shiny star on it… was giving you the world! You aren’t going to get my horse! I would miss it… mourn for it! It’s mine, mine, mine!
I look with such pride at my carousel… oh, the most wonderful colors on it. The detail… look at the perfect hues of pink, blue, aqua, yellow, orange, red, green, purple, lavender… each color separated by gold-colored lines… real gold at that! All I can see is beauty. It shines, it speaks to me; speaks to my very soul! You can’t have no better than … that’s to be able to afford the best!
Beauty from so many wonderful colors… from so many jewels on the saddles, and such… on each horse. Those jewels are… real! Oh, you have no idea how much each horse is worth! They are mine… mine… mine! Just one diamond could make you rich!!! You’re not getting it… I’m greedy for my ‘good stuff’… I have more, I have better than anyone else… I don’t want to be bothered by… trash! Blow away, you worthless piece of trash!
I look at the horse closest to where I stand; where the spark of light came from in my peripheal vision. I can’t see any farther than this… it’s beauty has filled my eyes. I want to absorb it into my body; into my very soul… it’s so beautiful. I couldn’t let go of it, if I wanted to.
I look back to you when I can finally make my eyes move away from that piece of beauty. Damn, what a contrast! Looking from the horse to you… hurts my eyes, my mind… it insults me! You are nothing but, trash. You smell; your clothes are torn, tattered. I even hear you talking to yourself… you are crazy, too.
It never enters my mind to consider the possibility of helping you… see that trash receptable sitting beside the park bench? You… are what it’s for… that’s where you need to be thrown… you are trash! You need to be balled up, thrown away! I can’t bear to see you!
I stand there, looking at you a little longer… I don’t know why I am wasting my time staring at you. I don’t know ‘why’ my attention is drawn to you… a homeless person with not even one possession to your name. You can’t even take a bath, much less find food enough to fill that bony frame of yours. You are less than a … human!
Rage fills my chest as I look at something so… ‘unbeautiful’. I only want to see the good things in life… I can’t be distracted by ugly, nasty things.
That’s not what this person’s life is about (me)… my life is meant to accumulate, store my wondrous treasures I find here on this earth, while I am here!
I will take them with me when I die, if I have to have the undertaker… shove them up my ass, somehow! I can’t leave even… one thing. It means too much to me! I want more, I want more!
Did I dare hear you speak to me? Don’t you know you can’t speak to me; do you know who I am? You can’t just be speaking to me… you aren’t good enough. I can’t let anyone see ‘you’ speak to me… to do that, you have to be rich, rich, rich! You have to be ‘beautiful enough’ to even wipe the dust off my shoes. I wouldn’t let you for no amount of money… you are trash! You ‘might wipe off on me’!
Stay away from me! No, don’t you dare walk over to me; get away! The wind is blowing trash toward me… don’t let it touch me, touch my life! Get away! Get away!
What’s that you have in your hand? No, I don’t want it! It’s nasty from being in your hand; there are millions of germs on it. Don’t contaminate me, you piece of trash!
Eyes? Clear blue eyes? Beautiful eyes? I didn’t mean to look into your eyes… damn! Damn, damn, damn!!! I don’t want to see beautiful, clear blue eyes smiling at me from… you are nothing but, trash! I am turning my head… I feel my heart inside turning away.
I hear the softest voice come from the pile of trash standing in front of me. Get away from me, you are distracting my attention away from my beautiful life, my wonderful possessions! I don’t want to hear you!
I stood there, looked away… I’m in deep thought. I’m going to close my warehouse door now. I’m going to shut you out on the other side… why you might give me a disease; the wind might blow germs off you, putting them on my wonderful things here in my warehouse!
Get away, you piece of trash! I am thinking this as I catch a spark of something shiny in my peripheal vision once again… it isn’t coming from inside my warehouse. It’s coming from… no, it isn’t possible!
I don’t want to look! What is that emotion I’m feeling inside my chest? Why… am I feeling something wet on my cheeks! What is that falling on my hands as I look down at them? Why do I feel the need to look up… to look back… at you? You are not worth my attention… you don’t shine like my possessions do! You are just… trash! I’m not looking at you! I look up…
There you are… smiling softly at me. Oh, the softness in your eyes, such beauty there. I stand there mesmerized… I don’t mean to look at you; I can’t help it. You are shining like a star… there’s a glow about you. I sense goodness, peace from your presence…
You speak again. What did you say? My ears have been trained not to hear trash when it’s blowing near…. What? I’m wanting to hear you!
I can’t see you for the curtain of tears that are filling my eyes. Why do I feel that feeling… in my heart? What did you say? I just can’t hear you… I shouldn’t even try to… who listens to trash? Trash can’t talk!
I close my eyes, as I do… I feel wetness squeeze from my eyelids. The wind begins to gently blow, making my cheeks feel coolness from them. I want to cry….
I feel a strange emotion inside, rusty from never being used since I was a little… poor girl. Oh my God… I’m feeling… The emotion twists itself in my chest like a sharp knife, making my heart hurt… am I having a heart attack? What is happening to me?
I open my eyes… the wind has blown the trash away! Where did you go? Come back, trash! I want you to come back!
The emotion in my chest comes to the surface, I begin to weep. Sobs shook my shoulders… I haven’t cried since I became… rich, since I began buying so many things to make ‘me’ happy. I never took time to look at anyone else along my way to acquiring my possessions; my wealth.
‘I, me, myself’… only mattered to me. I never looked back; I never helped anyone along my way; I never listened to anyone who wasn’t good enough to talk to me… a very rich, successful person. Everything became ‘trash’ to me if it didn’t benefit … ‘me’…
Lord, I am standing here… wishing for that piece of trash to blow back to me. I want to hear it, I want to talk to it… I want to see something so ugly, nasty… yet, so …
Beautiful. Who are you? I saw beauty in you; the glow from you competed with the shine, sparkle of all that is my warehouse! Your presence made me… feel calm, peace of mind. Please come back, trash! Please come back! I want to put you in my warehouse! I want you to be my possession, too!
I stand there… I begin to realize something I haven’t thought of for years. I ‘know who you’ are. I’ve realize that I have just been given a ‘life’s lesson’… oh my, I am crying… I am ‘feeling real feelings’… how long has it been!
I stand here in shame… How could I have let myself quit feeling for others, let material things become my ‘God’? How could I have wasted all these years not helping others in life, as I grew richer?
My mind’s eye looks back into my Life Bubbles… my fingers turning this one, that one! I feel a stab of pain in my heart each time a bubble is plucked, I look inside. How many people have I hurt? How could I do that to … something so real? People… like me, who once hurt! I am remembering that pain…
The pain of someone looking down on me, seeing only trash blowing in the wind… worthless to them. No one ‘saw me’…. I became just like them…
God forgive me. Please forgive me. How far I have strayed off the most important path in life… I’m running as fast as I can … I am getting on it as quickly as possible! The path of…
Caring, loving, helping … people. I feel the need to begin helping others; I, now, remember the pain of not having; suffering from the stress of not having money to buy groceries, gas, pay my bills. I can remember ‘how it felt’. Shame on me for forgetting… shame on me for thinking, calling another human being…. ‘trash’. I forgot there were others in this world… my world was ‘me’.
One day I was standing in the doorway of my small, modest house. I stood there with peace in my mind, a happy heart. I felt so richly blessed… I didn’t have a lot of possessions any longer.
Where did they go? The day I saw beauty in something so ugly, filthy, so ‘trash’… my life changed. That was the day I began to ‘see people’ again… the day I remembered to love, care about someone other than myself.
That was the day… instead of seeing trash standing there in front of me… I caught a glimpse of something ‘shining other than my wonderful, most important possessions’. The ‘glow’ I witnessed that day lit the path with such brightness… that within a short time, I was back on the path in life I’d strayed from so long ago.
That was the day I began to rid myself of all my earthly possessions, only keep what I needed to have. I used the money to make the difference in others’ lives… oh, the happiness I felt in my heart as… I saw the happiness in their eyes!
I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy luxuries of life, I still do. My life isn’t focused on only ‘me’… I found the secret to life. The more ‘I give’… the more ‘I receive’. The more I love… the more I am loved.
You say I’m loved because of what I can give? I don’t let anyone know I’m the one giving most of the time… most ‘don’t know’. I don’t have to go through life ‘tooting my own horn’. I don’t need ‘brownie points’…
I give with a free heart… no strings attached. I ‘don’t need something back’.
I give… I let go, never expecting anything in return. I make sure what ‘I let go’ is…. ‘good’. If one does that… good comes back.
No matter how ugly someone is, the life they are in… stop, take a look, ‘feel for them’. Care. See beauty in something ‘ugly’. I don’t mean in things that can hurt, harm you, or others.
Look at people who suffer around you… feel for them. If you have extra, make a difference in their life. Pass on things you don’t need… sitting there to accumulate doesn’t help anything… even if it’s ‘shoved up your ass’… it’s not going with you; it will stay right here on earth. The old saying is: you can’t take it with you.
I saw beauty in what I thought was trash… a living, breathing piece of ‘trash’ that the wind blew here, blew there. There was a glow about it… it even spoke to me… I didn’t want to hear it because it was easier to ‘not care’… not caring is easier than caring. One has to give … when they care. Give from their heart…
The soft voice of that ‘trash’ reached my heart, melted the ice around it… when it softly said to me, “Don’t hurt me anymore… each time you hurt someone, you hurt me; I died for you… look at my hands’…