My complex has limited curb rooms. So on recycle days when everyone is around, many trash cans do not fit. Last two weeks, mine had been the unfortunate victim of "trash alley bullying" - squeezed out by others that it got skipped from pick ups, or pushed out of the way altogether, content spilling and uncollected.
Though my back pain had been confining me to my bedroom mostly during this time, I could still see the pick up truck coming and going through the window. Today as it arrived, I suddenly remembered in all the party excitement last night, we had forgotten to take out the trash cans. It was way too late to find any open spot now, it was also a double pick up day, the curb was completely packed. As the truck was already approaching, I would have no time to move enough of them to open up room.
Fueled by my improved lower back last two days and hoping for a miracle, I dashed out of the house dragging my blue (recycle) and black (regular) cans towards the curb. Alas, after two blocks, still no opening, and suddenly I heard the truck was trailing behind me like a smug yet patient stalker.
In my frustration I turned around, to see "Terry" sitting high in his drivers seat with a placid expression. He tilted his head towards the curb, and I saw he had used a giant mechanical fork on the truck to push a row of cleaned trash cans tight together and back, so now there is a slice of open curb right behind me.
He waited patiently for me to push mine flush against the curb, waved me aside, and switched the mechanical arms to pick them up and cleaned them. My face flushed at the memories of the angry curses I had blurted (on seeing my spilled trash) in previous weeks.
"Terry"'s face remained concentrated and calm. He never smiled at me, even when I asked if I could take his picture. But then he waved a friendly goodbye and off to clean up the rest of the complex, "just doing his job", I was left feeling blessed to have met him.