Essay

That Shitty Plastic Bin

I came home last night with a plastic bin from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It’s meant to store documents and has little clips on the side to tightly secure a lid.

I stopped at the door of my apartment. In that moment, when I was holding the new bin on my hip to unlock the door, maybe the motion or the muscle memory, whatever it was, the feeling caused memories to rush back to me. I remembered that I used a bin not too different from this one to move my belongings back and forth from my Mom’s house to my Dad’s house every weekend. I don’t know where that stupid bin—I think we just called it “my box”—came from in the first place but, over the years, it got a lot of use.

After my parents divorced my Mom moved out and bought a house in town. Since the high school was in town, rather than taking a bus from the rural area my Dad lived in, it was easiest for me to live in town with my Mom for the week. Every Friday night for 5 years I’d pack up to go to Dad’s.

That shitty plastic bin held a simple purpose.

It’s hard to fit the angst of a high school kid into a nice, neat backpack. So I just threw whatever I needed into my box for the weekend. Sometimes the lid—the type you see in warehouses where there are hinges on both sides and it folds together like origami, kindly hugging the contents—well, sometimes that lid would close and sometimes it was just too overflowing with my life to shut securely.