01 July 2010

Hoarders

In the summer, we always eat outside, unless it's raining. One day last week, I was out on the deck drinking my morning coffee in my bathrobe, when I heard the unmistakable sound of a large truck backing up. From around the corner of the house, we saw a dumpster backing gingerly down the neighbor's driveway. I thought, maybe they're doing some construction, or a new roof.

This particular neighbor has lived in his house for a long long time, and he's kind of a odd ball. He blows his leaves and snow blows his driveway at night, in the dark - not because he has a day job, he doesn't, but because he's a night owl. He spends hours moving boxes and traffic cones from one side of his garage to the other. While I've been in his house, an ordinary enough house, I've never been in his basement, which he once described to me as Collyer-Brothers-like. I can believe it, based on what I've seen in his garage.

Two mornings after the dumpster drop, I heard the truck backing down the driveway again. The now full 20 yard container disappeared - and was replaced with an empty one. Days later, it seems full again. Periodically we hear something clang in, though mostly all I can see are cardboard boxes. No construction work is happening. But occasionally, I see the neighbor out there pulling things back out of the dumpster. And then his wife or one of his grown children comes out, and gently escorts him back in to the house.

To all appearances, the wife and children are staging a hoarder's intervention. I'm torn between sadness, pity and desperate curiosity as to what the hell is in those dumpsters.

15 comments:

Janet said...

I can't watch that hoarding show...it hurts my tummy. I think I have hoarding tendencies...but not to the extent of those shows.

Kelly said...

We are all hoarders here. It is only our disdain for each others junk that keeps us from drowning under a mountain of crap. Just ask the paper shredder whose motor I burned up in an effort to purge our house of ten years of the husband's W-2s.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am a vehement anti-hoarder. When I am old I will live in a space with only a chair, a bookshelf and a TV probably--if my condition becomes exacerbated.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

I love these observations.

Rima said...

Go look! And report back.

I hope they let him keep at least a few of his favorite things . . .

painted maypole said...

ooh... you might find some good stuff. go dumpster diving!!! but in the morning, when he's sure not to be up. ;)

rachel... said...

Sad. I watch that show Hoarders. From what I've seen, you really DON'T want anything that's in that dumpster. I wonder if he's moving.

Life in Eden said...

oh I'd be so so curious! yes, go peek!

FreshHell said...

I am addicted to Hoarders and any other show of its type. I had these tendencies but have since revelled in getting rid of stuff. Goodwill is my usual victim. My mother's house, while not at Hoarders level, is filled with 50 years of crap that I will one day have to sort through which I am not looking forward to. I wonder how many rat carcasses are in that dumpster.

YourFireAnt said...

Well, can't you go over and look??!

Mental P Mama said...

I am the consummate anti-hoarder. And now? The Gladys Kravitz in me needs to know what is going in those dumpsters!

Stimey said...

That's pretty intense. I'd be curious too.

Kelly said...

Uh oh. I guess it was either the dumpster, or the TLC show. Ouch. Seriously though, what a painful, disturbing disorder to have.

mayberry said...

I'd be desperately curious too. I have an aunt and uncle with definite hoarding tendencies. They keep the living room of their home pretty clear, but the liveable space in the guest bedroom is shrinking by the year. It's now down to a narrow channel around the bed and to the door.

Anonymous said...

No doubt the horde consisted of high-tech burst transmission equipment, encoding devices, caches
of small arms and poisoned-tipped umbrellas for
use by Russian sleep spies.