October 28, 2001


My former neighbor, Barbara, back in the days when I lived in a so-called artist’s building (where no one, technically, was supposed to live), kept several enormous plastic bags of trash in her loft. The bags were on your left as you entered, stacked in a corner. For the longest time I didn’t know what was in them, but then one day Barbara stopped me in the hall and asked if I knew anyone who had a fireplace where she could burn some trash.

“Why don’t you just throw it out?”

“Because last year I was fined for illegally dumping trash on Cambridge Street. The police tracked me down by going through the bags and finding a bunch of mail with my name and address.”

“But I’ve seen you dumping trash,” I said. “We’ve even done it together a few times.”

“Yes, but none of that trash had my name on it.”