I have not been able to face the worms in weeks. Old Cool-Whip containers of melon rinds and coffee grounds are accumulating in my fridge because I keep telling myself I’m going to go out there and feed them but I haven’t been able to get myself to go out and actually do it.
Somehow it’s just too — too something. Too much to have to deal with the hapless creatures that I know have fallen down into the bottomless abyss of the Lower Bin again, too much to wonder if I’m going to find any more weird pupa-babies in there, too much to be faced with my own possible failings as a worm mama.
I’ve even thrown away whole stalks of broccoli trunks and scoops of slimy honeydew seeds because I wasn’t willing to schlep them out to the bin. And you know that’s not like me.
But the past two months have not been normal. Two close family members are dealing with the big C; somehow I can’t get too enthused about minding the Bin. I’ve had to take a break.
It reminds me of the time I had to stop cutting up chickens.
Usually if a recipe for grilling or casseroles calls for a whole, cut-up chicken I buy a whole one and cut it up myself, thanks to Dad’s instructing me on the proper way to do it — a skill deemed essential before I left home. It’s more economical that way and you get to make soup broth out of the necks, backs, breastbone, etc.
But there was a time back in the early days of being a parent when I just couldn’t face those visceral, pinkly pale carcasses anymore. I took to buying pre-packaged cut-up chickens for some time until I felt up to it again.
My ancestors who butchered, bled and plucked their own birds would likely scoff, but I didn’t care.
Cancer in the family makes me rub shoulders a little closer than I would like with my frail mortality. Maybe that’s why I’m having a hard time facing the Bin. Their writhing helplessness feels like so much humanity. It’s too much wormanity for me to deal with all at once.
But the plastic containers accumulating in the fridge are a constant reminder of my good intentions, so I’m going to have to suck it up and go out there again soon. I’ve trained my family so well that they’ve taken to saving scraps for me to feed to the worms, and I feel like a schmuck for furtively sneaking my own into the trash.
Maybe this weekend. I’ll feel so much better, and the watermelon rinds will stop mocking me.