My prolonged lack of a recycling bin has plunged me into another semi-serious existential crisis. Predictably.

There’s little in my life that doesn’t involve a bit of mess, and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Earlier this week one of my rightly disgruntled house-mates politely pleaded with me to contact our local borough council to ascertain why we were yet to receive the recycling bin that we had ordered (and paid for) soon after moving in earlier this autumn. Upon phoning, and after a string of overly-enthused recorded messages that even a Sainsbury’s Self-Checkout would be put to shame by, I eventually got to talk to a real life human being, and I was told that the department in question had quite simply ‘run out of bins’. They assured me that we would however receive our order within the next month and profusely apologised. I aimed to reassure the staff member explaining the conundrum but I fear someone else asked her just the same question about 2.7 seconds before I hung up. It must have been a tough day.

Upon ending the phone call I found myself pondering an amusing yet highly perplexing modern day dilemma; on the one hand I found it completely hilarious that the sole office of official bin resourcing in our local area could run out of the very thing that gives them their fucking name, but at the same time I felt bad about even considering having any feelings of irritation towards them, because perhaps it meant that an increasing number of people in the local area were beginning to recycle their household waste, which surely isn’t by any means a bad thing. Indeed, there must have been some sort of increase in demand for such a shortage to occur? I’d at least like to think that this entire department of our certain North Londinium council isn’t run with quite the same low level of competency as the highways on Craggy Island, anyway.

Maybe however the problem is more-so that there is simply too much waste – everywhere – and as humans we only are increasing the constant production of this bollocking stuff, even if it is recyclable. I’ve lost count of the amount of times my girlfriend and I have sat over a cup of tea and ranted about the ever declining state of this little blue planet which none of us humans are truly even slightly worthy of, no matter how much we convince ourselves so. Maybe this situation I encountered is no laughing matter. Predictably, however, me being me, I ended up pissing myself regardless.

Living in the city I feel like mess is everywhere. It’s very easy to fixate on things like fly tipping, slurry pits and squashed pheasants when you live in a rural area, but in a city it isn’t just literal waste that causes the mess – you also have constant, noisy traffic to contend with, alongside tightly packed buildings, migraine-inducing advertising on every corner, building sites on any precious area of unoccupied non-greenbelt land and, of course, fucktons of actual rubbish too. I adore London, don’t get me wrong, but just like any other city, this side to it is surely unignorable. It fuzzes the brain and confuses the everything else. Even my own personal living spaces become just as bad once I’ve moved back in to my University area. My room. My wardrobe. The bloody drying rack by the sink. And even my timetable – that which seemingly has no regularity and sees me already knackered by ten-thirty on a Monday morning – seems, whilst no doubt productive, incredibly messy.

It appears clear to me that, from re-reading my last opinion post on this blog, I am someone who craves order. I write lists endlessly. I can’t function without a wall calendar. I only can post on this blog once a month and no more. I don’t always like the rule of three. I am someone who desperately wants to be organised – whether I always fulfill this wish is of course another matter entirely – but maybe this is perhaps the prevailing reason as to why the concept of mess so frequently troubles me.

I’m currently on a train home to Devon to pick up my crappy little car to take it back to my new place in London. Within 3 days no doubt its back seats will house a complete mini landfill, but I will be happier for having my vehicle nonetheless. I’ll try to forget its exhaust pipe’s impact on the planet a little and just remember how many wonderful places it can take me in the meantime – places I can organise the schedules for far far in advance to my heart’s content. In the meantime I aim to focus my attention on vast green fields and the general absence of capitalistic slogans every three-out-of-five locations that my gaze clumsily lands on. It may help, and if not, it will certainly distract.

-Toby Moran Mylett


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