Fiction: Trash

Kelli J Gavin

By: Kelli J Gavin


 Trash. Absolute Trash. I can’t even read it anymore. Page after page of garbage. Wasted ink if you ask me. Drivel. Nothing important. No one cares to read it anymore. Trash I tell you.

 I was a reporter with the local newspaper for 35 years. 35 years. Over half my life. I loved my job. I loved interviewing people and exploring local towns. I loved figuring out how all the pieces fit together. A perfect puzzle waiting to be solved. Me. I was the one that could figure anything out. High school vandalism? Freshman soccer players trying to impress senior dance squad members. Who stole Mrs. Jenkins milking cow? Mr. Jenkins. Long story, but he hated that cow. But he hated Mrs. Jenkins more. He never wanted to see that cow again and enjoyed that Mrs. Jenkins remained distraught the rest of her days because of the cow’s absence. But that one story, that one that I am most proud of? Oh yes. When 3 million dollars went missing from two “small” local businesses. I uncovered the largest money laundering conspiracy our county had ever seen. Me. I was the one.

 When you age, apparently the rest of the world ages with you. Those people that read the newspaper for the past 35 years, well, most of them have died already. I am told no one reads newspapers anymore. That the younger tech savvy generations desire to have all of their news at their fingertips. One Google search away and always available on their phone. My small town approach of news reporting was no longer needed. I was informed that the publisher wanted to stay in business, but they had to make some changes. I was the first person they let go. My paycheck couldn’t be supported as they were losing money daily. Also, they were no longer planning on reporting the small town every day happenings as they had in years gone by. They wanted to report about new restaurants and breweries, destination vacations, parties and fundraisers and new business openings. Hollywood and Celebrity news would replace the Police Report Column with the More Pizazz. Less crime and sadness. Less small town and more- Wow! The publisher actually said that to me. More - Wow!

 So, retirement seemed like a good idea for me. Until I realized I didn’t have any idea what no longer being a reporter and retirement actually meant. I hate every second of it. Molly, the waitress at the local diner hates it even more. Retirement means I take up a booth in her section until I have read all the newspapers, and completed the crossword puzzles. She has informed me that if it wasn’t for my “cheery disposition”, she would have kicked me out a long time ago. I am a terrible tipper. I should mention Molly in my will.

 Tomorrow, I will find a new hobby. I can’t sit here in this diner drinking cup after cup of stale coffee and reading all this trash day in and day out, or it will surely make me find an early grave.

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