Convenience, Consumption and Crapola. (a story/ish)

Convenience, Consumption and Crapola. (a story/ish)

15M people live in landfills on $2 a day or less


Lian had been going to the landfill with his brothers and sisters, for years. It had started when his daddy died, and mama was sick. It was the only way mama could think of to care for them. Then she died in childbirth and his oldest sister Ana had taken over their group.

Each morning they went to the dump, with rumbling tummies and dirt filled eyes from their lack of sleep. They took turns standing sentry over each other thru the night. They stood at the door of the abandoned, ruins of a warehouse. Where once people had been able to find work, but no longer could.

At the end of the day, they took anything saleable they could find to the pawnbroker and collected their pennies. So they could have something to eat. So at least they could sleep without feeling their tummy, for a little while.

Then Ana sent them to the water hole, well stinky mud pile really. But it was wet and she thought she was helping them stay cleaner as mama would have wanted. They kept coming back with rashes on their arms. But Ana didn’t know what else to do, so she kept taking them back.

One day when everyone else was at the landfill, Ana had stayed behind to care for the baby who was feverish. When the group got back to the warehouse, only the baby was there. The other kids went looking for her so they could go to the pawnbroker. Lian stayed with the baby. Nobody could find Ana. So they stayed in and went hungry.

In the morning Lian swaddled the baby around him and the kids all went to the landfill. Hungry. They figured Ana would know where they were and come get them.

But she didn’t show up by nightfall, and they didn’t go to the pawnbroker again. They were too scared to go without Ana.

After the third day without Ana, Lian finally gathered courage and went to the pawnbroker by himself. And got their pennies so they could eat. He made sure there was some for each child and some put aside in case something else happened. Or Ana returned.

Eventually they got used to Ana not being around and doing for themselves. They got up, went to the landfill, picked all day, washed at the mud hole, went to the warehouse to wait for Lian to come with supper after seeing the pawnbroker. And taking turns guarding the others while they slept.

With no hope of a better future. Only a growing fear that Ana wouldn’t come back. Or something might happen to another one of them.

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