Dog Shit

The locker room of the tennis club where I work is down a double set of stairs straight back from the front doors and a sharp turn to the right. In this locker room, there are 9 small trash cans hidden behind a pair of cabinets under each vanity counter, 2 medium sized trash cans under the sinks in the far right corner, and three large trash cans. One in the bathroom, one near the shower, and one that sits underneath a countertop dedicated solely to primming. It has no sink to wash your hands, just a large rectangle mirror, complimented by a much smaller circular mirror who’s reflection alters by the angle, and a black hair dryer. 

In each of the other thirteen trash cans, are all of the scraps you’d expect to see tossed in the locker room of a tennis club. Little plastic cups that are never emptied of their water before they are thrown away, bandaids soaked with the many shades of a scrape on a gentle elbow, paper towels, tissues, wrappers of protein bars and empty green juice bottles that the old women claim they would’ve recycled at home. 

But, in this final trash can, hidden by a detour to the left, there are all the makings of some kind of rag tag list of props you might read in a Shel Silverstein poem. Like shoelaces and flower petals and bracelet charms. I think it must be some kind of portal. Some kind of sickly magical place that bares the answer to the question of “where do all the lost things go.”  Here, in the under the counter trash can of the women's locker room at the tennis club where I work, I have found the celestial hiding spot of all the goblins and fairies and trolls in the world, or at least in this part of southeastern Michigan. 

Maybe on the days I'm not here to switch the bag, someone else is left to whiff all of the lost left socks and crumple down the pages of times tables and homework that will be deduced down to the dog's dinner. 

I am the one who cleans it up on Wednesday nights. The first thing I found there was a pair of fake velvet black boots. The kind with a thick heel that would reach just a few inches below the knee and a sensible girl might wear to a party or a thanksgiving dinner with a babydoll dress in some hue that starts with the letter M like mauve or maroon. and a not so sensible girl might wear to get coffee and a baguette around 11am on a Tuesday. 

I hope the woman who wore these boots was not so sensible and wore them somewhere like the grocery store or the park, and when she misstepped into a pile of dog shit, and tried to wipe the smell away with apple cider vinegar on an old sponge, and found it was no use and she would try again another day, she kicked the boots under her bed. 

As days and weeks passed and the boots stayed under her bed, it became clear that once she was ready to try again, she wouldn’t remember that she had given them a resting place parallel to hers and at once they would be, as her grandmother's old ruby earrings, and her best friends old t shirt that she wore to sleep one night, and her dvd of “Notting Hill”, lost. 

And so by the work of a swift sort of fairy, or maybe something more science fiction like an artificial intelligence robot mind controlled teleportation device, they were sent to the place where lost things go. Under the counter in the fourteenth trash can. 

Since I've started watching Groundhog day almost biweekly, and liking all of the same songs as a girl I barely know with the same star sign as me, and praying to god with my friend Rachel in silence over Facetime I know that this is possible! Of course if it isn’t true after all, just fantasy, then in the next few weeks or so I will find my sense tied up in a purple ribbon in the bottom of the trash can where lost things go.