After that first rather unsettling interview, I surreptitiously strolled down the street and checked out my neighbors’ garbage. (I did this out of curiosity and not nosiness you understand.) In one recycle bin I saw a Pampers for Swaddlers wrapper. Their baby wasn’t due for a few weeks so the baby was either premature or they had visitors. I’ll have to give them a call. In another recycle bin I noticed a number of empty tequila bottles belonging to a couple who don’t normally drink. Must have had a Cinco de Mayo party and I wasn’t invited. Hmmm In front of a third house there was a large amount of bagged trash piled on the curb. Perhaps their college bound son had the unenviable chore of tossing his cherished clutter. Poor guy.
Trash isn’t something I had ever thought about but obviously some people consider it a treasure trove of information because it can reveal a lot about a person’s lifestyle and habits. Now, whenever I put out my trash I wonder… Who is observing the contents of my trash bags and overflowing recycle bin? What conclusions are they drawing about me? Could something that one neighbor notices in another neighbor’s trash lead to murder?
The tales the trash can tell led me to consider the contents of my heroine’s and villain’s garbage. My single mother heroine would recycle her empty macaroni boxes and soup cans while my older male villain would throw away his cigar butts, pill bottles and broken machine gun magazines. What’s in your characters’ trash?