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Me and the Garbage People - Part III

A Melanie Black min-series

· Me and the Garbage People - Mini series

The first time I broke into someone else's home was the hardest - not just morally and shit, but logistically the hardest. Since I'd never done anything like that before, I was clumsy, loud, definitely not a stealthy thief. But I would get better- I'd have to, otherwise those wailing cherries would catch me someday - again. 

What was the purpose of breaking, entering, and looting, you ask? If we were really that desperate for food, clothes, or money couldn't most of us (accept me, but they didn't know that) just go back to their richy-rich lives and do "what they could" to save the planet from the comforts of their own home?

Of course, they could. And no, we weren't hungry, naked, afraid, anything like that. We were Robin Hoods, taking from the rich and giving to the Earth. We were poets crafting intricately woven messages in each theft. We stole things to destroy them because no one should create demand by using such planet-killing inventions. And whether or not these folks liked it, we were going to stop them. 

In the beginning, I didn't understand how these victimless targets, aka "the bastards" would get the reasoning behind their stuff being taken and busted into a million tiny pieces. I mean, how were they gonna know that we weren't just a bunch of bored youths running amuck and getting themselves into trouble because they simply had nothing better to do? Isn't that what most people assume homeless people do when they're not pan-handling, starving, or freezing on the streets? 

One leader of the group, Greg, told me from the start that I needed to get it in my head right off the bat that they weren't like other homeless people... they'd put themselves there by choice. They weren't suffering like the majority of the others sharing the same streets. He's also the one that explained how the greedy homeowners that we helped purge would know why we do what we do. Because we hold them temporarily hostage. Tied and bound long enough for one of the group's leaders to give a short CTU speech (CTU= Come to Universe, kinda like a Come to Jesus speech without the religious innuendo). 

And this is where I royally fucked up my first break-in. I was quiet (enough) for being a newbie. I didn't even have to break any glass to find my way in. My first family was overly trusting. Now, if you asked my fellow Garbage People, they would praise this family for their openness and ability to assume goodness. I think they were assuming more thought on the homeowner's behalf than what was really there, but... not my place to say it. Or anything, really. 

I remember finding all the "hot items" I was supposed to: onetime use plastics, non-recyclables, tech that contained toxic contaminants like pressure cookers and griddles with non-stick coating, and of course aerosols. Those were just where a person was directed to start material-wise; typically, a Garbage Person would need to tie up and quiet "the bastards" first since they usually always heard or at least sensed we were there.

Unlike most thieves, we wanted our bastards to be there- resting at home, feeling relaxed and good about their hellacious amounts of merchandise- that's when we could nab them, their stuff, and teach them a better way to live. A simpler, healthier life that won't kill the earth that all humans and animals alike call and rely on as home. 

Well, I remembered everything on my list of looted priorities- real good for my first time, right? I just forgot the most important part... I forgot to find the people in that house and tie them up for a talking to. Instead, they hid, and I got a talking to all the way to the police station where I sat for hours. 

No one came for me. I couldn't call anyone. And the cops didn't know what to do with me since I was a minor who claimed he had family out of town. 

Yup, I lied. I told the piggies that my family was visiting my half-brother overseas while he was away at his study-abroad program. When it comes to lying- a single-use lie, the more detail, the more real it sounds. Now, details don't work well with recyclable lies. I found that out the hard way when I finally got to return to my Garbage People, but I'll get into that life lesson later. For now, just know I am a fantastic liar but not a great burglar.