The year was 1984 Merton Whipple was on his morning walk to work. He worked for the city of Binghamton New York on the back of a garbage truck. He was twenty one and had been doing it since he was eighteen. It's the only job he had ever had. Just before he turned eighteen he dropped out of high school because he knew he was far from a good student. He lived with his mother and step father in a small house on Lyon street. He had a girl friend Connie who he used to see after work. At that time of his life she was the love of his life. They were looking forward to getting married soon. The two of them had talked about it many times but they hadn't set a date yet.
Connie was a loner she had no family she was raised in a foster home. In her mind she thought they didn't care about her so when she turned eighteen she moved out and stayed at the Y W C A. That was all she could afford at the time. She was introduced to Merton at a friends birthday party. At first neither of them much. They just looked at each other for a while and finally started laughing because it was stupid.
They had a hard time talking because the music was so loud a person couldn't hear themselves think. So they agreed to walk to Benny's it was a all night coffee shop just a couple of blocks away.
That sad in Benny's most of night laughing and joking around like they knew each for years. It was almost four am and Merton had to be to work at seven. Connie at that time was doing daycare at a families home. She had to be there at eight am. But they both knew they would never sleep. Merton payed their check and they stepped outside. To his surprise Connie gave him a kiss goodbye along with her phone number. By the time he walked home he had just enough time to take a nap for an hour.
It seemed like he had just closed his eyes and his alarm was going off. He really needed a cold shower so he could wake up. His butt was dragging but he still made it to work on time. As the supervisor barked off instructions for the day he just stood there and yawned.
This is going to be a long day he said to himself.
There wasn't a hour that went by that Connie didn't come to his mind. There was something about her that he just liked and he was looking forward to calling her later.
It was July now and it was hot Merton could feel the sweat running down his face and back. It was hard work but the money and benefits were pretty good. From the time he first started he was putting money in the bank. He had a pretty good amount saved up. He originally wanted to buy a car but he doesn't even have his license yet. He was so close to everyplace he needed to go he didn't give much thought about getting it. It only took him about fifteen minutes to walk to work. Every so often he did dream about having a cool car and a beautiful woman riding around with him. That was every boys dream.
His step father had worked for the city for years driving one of the trucks so he pulled some strings and got Merton the job. He was on the bottom of the totem pole put it was a steady job. His mother worked at a perfume company in the other direction. He had to older sisters that had moved out a few years ago. He was the only boy in the family. His father he hardly ever seen. His mom left him when he was little because he drank to much. Believe it our not that was one thing Merton didn't do was drink. When his father drank it made him mean and he sure didn't want to turn out like him.
It seemed like the cops were always at his house to arrest his father. His father never admitted to anything he did. He was always telling the cops his mother was lying and she was cheating on him. Of course they didn't believe him. So the cops would lock him up. It got to the point no one would post his bail anymore. He had burned to many bridges.
The last time Merton had seen his father he went to visit him in jail just because it was the right thing to do. The more he looked at his father the more he hated him. When he left he told him he hoped he rotted there and he never wanted to see him again.
When he left the jail some tears came to his eyes mainly because of the way his father turned out.
It was now three thirty and his day of work was over. He said goodbye to the people he worked with and headed home. It had started to rain about an hour ago but he didn't care. It felt good against his sweaty body. He enjoyed his walk home it was kind of peaceful. There were just the everyday noise of city life. That was all he ever knew.
A year has passed since he met Connie. So he wanted to pop the question. Deep down he was afraid she would say no. He had spend a lot of money on her diamond and he couldn't return it. One thing she had never asked him was what type of work he did. And to be honest he didn't want to tell her. But he knew he had to someday when the time was right. If it ever came to that. And it did that night he took out for dinner at a pretty fancy restaurant. And he pooped the question. She was amazed at the size of her diamond. What kind of a job do you have to afford this she asked? I work on the back of a garbage truck. I work for the city. Your kidding right she said. No I'm not said Merton. You want me to marry a garbage man no way she said and she walked out of Merton Whipple's life for ever.