Dumpster citizens

I know you hate us.

We who walk namelessly and know the shadows best.
Sunshine hurts us, so at dawn, we slither into cul-de-sacs hunting for the dumpster darkness. We rest on cardboard sheets in rodent–company and only at dusk we dare to sneak into your streets again

Sometimes you may catch a glimpse of us as we scavenge for nutrients in the fast-food muck you leave behind, but oftentimes you only catch us by the ammonium scent of sweat and pee.

I know you hate us, but please remember, before you call for cops, we were also children once.



I really don’t know why I wrote this, it might not even be a story, but a piece of prose. I feel that I walk past these people who so many times and maybe even more so during the pandemic.

Friday fictioneers is a way to train your skill at writing, Rochelle sets the challenge and we write a piece of fiction to the same image. I have been less active for a while, but working from home is wearing me a bit, and I need to do more cooking and baking as well. If you want to read more stories you can find them by clicking the frog below.

Poor Frog ! - amphibian, funny, green, demonstrate

September 30, 2020

30 responses to “Dumpster citizens

  1. Bjorn, What a moving account of someone who feels disposable as society’s “trash,” ending with an arresting reminder, that once he or she was a newborn, a child who was the light of her mother’s eyes! We have let them fall through the cracks.

    • So very sad because of the truth of your story and even more so as the temperature drops. Thank you for the sobering reminder that especially during the pandemic there are those in need who fall through the cracks. Well written!

  2. I always carry a wad of $1 Bill’s in my pocket. This way I can give them one to one it coffee with to hp them stay warm. There is a coiffer shop in their area where people “buy it forward” so these people can go in and buy a coffee, hot chocolate, or a bun. It isn”t much but it does help them. I can”t pass by my fellow humans. I am not wired that way.

  3. There is a haunting ring of truth to your story. You’ve captured aspects that many never consider about street people, especially that shrinking away from those they feel despise them, into the shadows.

  4. Interesting thought. Everyone starts out the same way, just something different happens to them along the way, some being luckier than others.

  5. If one is forced to spend one’s days in the dark, the light is going to become a problem. This is heart-wrenching, gut-wrenching stuff, Bjorn. Really well-written.

  6. Pretty dark, but I liked it. I’m not sure why either. It seems like a flexible story where I can make it work several ways. 🙂

  7. Such a sad indictment of society! There was a man went missing in UK a couple of years back, and after an extensive search the police concluded he must have gone to sleep in a dumpster and been buried in Landfill inadvertently. Our big dumpsters now have labels on them – ‘Do not climb into or sleep in this container’.

  8. I like this one. So very fitting. there was a time, a few years ago when we had charity bins around the city. then, it was discovered that homeless people were residing within them. in short order, the bins were removed… homeless waifs included.

  9. these poor people are often ‘invisible’ to many, I try to engage at whatever level they are able to … good write and thanks for highlighting this!

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