Over at The Paris Review Daily, Chris Flynn asked a few authors to discuss odd jobs they’d held, including Biblioklept fave Wells Tower, who worked briefly as a garbage man. He also slang marijuana for a while, but that’s not in the anecdote. Anyway, we love Tower’s short story collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (review here) and hope he’ll put out a novel soon. Here’s his trash story—
When I was nineteen, I worked briefly as a garbage man. My boss’s name was Puddn’. He was a vast, sunbaked person with such a pronounced Southern accent that I couldn’t understand much of what he said. The job’s oppressions were what you’d expect: maggots, smells made worse by the summer heat. By the end of each day, I hated everyone who owned a garbage can. I did not hate Puddn’, though, who made many gifts to me of the wonders he found in the trash: penknives, silver cutlery, old watches, some of which I keep with me still.