When i was moving, i stuck out in front of the empty house next door various items that neither i nor any of my friends wanted. My plan was that i could later put the stuff that wasn’t taken by scavengers into either the recyclables bin or the trash bin, but to my surprise everything was taken. My landlord told me that he thought that the city might have harvested a bunch of it on the night i put the bulk of it out there, but still, in the worst case scenario, scavengers got a lot of it.
But one item they didn’t carry off in the 24 hours it sat there was a rectangular tray made of a solid slab of aluminum. I’d have thought that somebody would have taken that for the value of the aluminum, but obviously everyone thought it was so ugly that it didn’t get a second look.
Not that they’d have snapped it up if they’d known it was a precious antique, made by Matte’s dear friend Louis in a crafts class in 1953.
And in Louis’ defense, the only reason he still had this hideous thing that only a mother could love is that she carefully preserved it for nearly half a century. After her death he’d reclaimed it, and it sat buried deep in his stuff until it resurfaced when he and Matte were packing for their recent move.
But the critics have spoken, and Matte will be personally handing it over to an aluminum can scavenger since it’s got dozens of cans’ worth of aluminum in it. Scores? Hundreds?
Ahhhh, sweet completion.
Update: When i finally got around to taking that tray out to give to a scavenger, the situation got even funnier: he didn’t want it. Turns out that the collection points scavengers go to accept only cans. So i stuck the tray into the blue recycling bin in front of my building. Checked Recology’s website and see that they use magnets to separate ferrous metals from things like aluminum cans and pie pans. If they can take pie pans, they can damn sure take my tray. Surely they don’t expect me to cut it into small strips and stuff them inside aluminum cans:-)