The Environmentalist

I once rescued a man from a dumpster. He was half in and half out, but more in than out. He’d snagged his pants on a bolt. It seemed he should have been able to reach back with one hand or the other and free himself. But he just kept hanging there and mumbling, “Oh, oh fuck, oh fuck.”

So I went over and asked if he could use some help. He grunted, which I took for a yes. I reached up and started tugging at his legs, and that righted him. But his belt was still tangled around the bolt.

He looked at me, judging my character, and decided I didn’t look like the type to take what he held in either hand: aluminum soda cans. He chucked one to the ground and, with his free hand, unbelted himself. He dropped to the ground, then quickly secured his belt and retrieved his can.

I asked if he was OK. He said yes, and thanks, and then, perhaps feeling he owed me an explanation, said he was an environmentalist.

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