i sprinted to my car dry-heaving and never went back.
my landlord called me last night, still grimey from a science experiment. he told me that he had switched garbage companies about a month ago, to a shop out of floodwood that "made him an offer he couldn't refuse." they had delivered a shiny new dumpster, with that fresh-from-the-factory smell of tupperware. they collected the garbage twice, then -- after he paid them a hundred or so dollars -- they stopped coming at all.
for at least two weeks, garbage had been piling in the ally. this included everything i'd ditched when i moved -- including an entire refrigerator filled with year-old leftovers, congealed salad dressings, pruney fruits and thawed salmon. eventually biggie, the downstairs neighbor, complained to my landlord about the smell.
my landlord called the company repeatedly, and no one answered.
finally he went to the duplex, forced to sort through the debris himself.
"christa, there were literally thousands of maggots in that garbage can," he said. "thousands."
he loaded the mess into his old pickup, and dumped it at the downstairs neighbor's business. he tossed everything, including the garbage can and the maggotty ecosystem that had exploded.
"the smell," he moaned.
later he googled the company, and found that it shared a name with the garbage company on "the sopranos."
"why did you switch companies in the first place?" i asked him.
"it was a good deal," he said.