Teen Views: Yuck, an exercise in creative writing
Middle Park High School
Grand County, Colorado
Outside my apartment sit four garbage cans, black and brown, tied-dyed in grum. Every Sunday, I collect my clutter in used grocery bags. Exiting my apartment, I lock the door and check the knob twice. I watch my feet carefully carry my bags and me, three stories down, on rickety stairs.
I have no way around walking on the sidewalk to the cans. It’s the worst sidewalk in my neighborhood. Cracks everywhere. Leaping from one side to the other, zigzagging about, I always manage to miss each and every crack.
The cans are grumy, but I don’t mind. I only need to touch the handle once really fast. Grasping the handle and slime licking my pores, a horrid news image runs through my skull. Sitting on a light blue cot in a bright, white room, beautiful blond hair frames a sickening sight, half her face eaten away by flesh-eating bacteria.
Memory can be sparked by the most unexpected things.
My slime-covered palm snaps from the handle. Bolting from the cans, abandoning my trash, I flee to my apartment, my clean apartment. Stepping on hundreds of cracks and tripping on the rickety stairs, I make it inside in record time.
After scrubbing off two and a half layers of skin, I dump out my bath kit. This will be a bath kit no longer. It has a greater purpose. I fill it with new, more necessary items, a full bottle of Lysol, a fresh bottle of rubbing alcohol, one pair of yellow rubber gloves, one light blue dust mask.
Next Sunday, I will be ready. Next Sunday, I will be prepared.
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