A short film by filmmaker Tim Wilson
Now that Super Bowl fervor has settled, empty carcasses of snack bags and beer cans across the nation are being grudgingly swept up and lugged outside in lumpy, drippy sacks. We’re tired. We’re hungover. And leaving our waste at the end of our driveways is the end of our relationship with our trash.
Not so for garbagemen. In the words of a man who makes his livelihood off of the refuse that the rest of us shuck off:
I don’t think I’ve ever woken up in a bad mood. You know what I mean? I could very easily start saying, well, you know what, the garbage stinks. I hate getting up there, jumping around in other people’s garbage. [And] you know, in certain cases you take a bit of abuse from people.
The physical aspect of it is very hard. You make crappy money. I could focus on the negative things and find a thousand different things—but that kind of stuff is really contagious. … It’s another day—I’m alive and I’m awake, I survived. … I’m the kind of person that I want to be now.
Sounds like a good man if we’ve ever seen one.
This video is courtesy of documentary filmmaker Tim Wilson. You can find more of his work at his website. He is currently working on an interactive site for the National Film Board of Canada called “Old Hands,” on the wisdom and inner lives of older men.