Yesterday was leaking so I shrouded my share in a lip-blue binbag and hauled it out to the road. Mum agreed to dispose of her share too. I tied the bags tight, sealing the airway, and the dripping stopped for a while. Mum helped me load the wheelie-bin and we waited for the rubbish men to arrive.
But the rubbish men were rubbish. They refused to take yesterday away.
“There’s a limit,” they told us, tipping the bags onto the driveway. “We can’t take this heavy a burden. We have chest pain, and a cough. The union wouldn’t approve.”
I tried to explain but they wouldn’t listen, even though Mum and I supported their necks. They showed me the hallow of their hands, where the skin was loosening and turning green. Then they floated away.
We drove the binbags to the tip but they’d reappeared on our doorstep when we got home. Both were open and yesterday had flooded the driveway. We had to swim to the front door. The neighbours waved as they struggled to keep their noses above the surface.
I used a grappling hook to pull the bags into the house. Both were heavier now. The tops gaped. One vomited water, the other a cone of white froth. An arm protruded from Mum’s bag, lolling through a rip in the side, gripping a handful of reeds. We stood on the kitchen table as the bags rolled against each other, mouth-to-mouth, oozing algae and particles of sand.
“Play something,” Mum said, wrapping herself in a foil blanket. I waded to the stereo and tried rock, country, bluegrass and soul – everything my father had loved – but nothing drowned yesterday out.
In the end, we took yesterday back to the river. It fell into the water and floated face down.