I drain you, I rinse you out. I place you empty in the bag.
I cart the awkward bag to the car and find a spot for it. We drive away.
When we arrive, I take the bag of you and walk, my head hanging a little low, through the automatic sliding doors. I walk between aisles, all the way to the back, to my destination.
One by one I remove you from the bag. I place you very specifically in the machine. Very specifically! If I insert you incorrectly, the machine does not like it and spits you back out at me.
This room smells. It’s an odd odor similar to a bar the morning after. The stench of stale beer and stickiness, yes stickiness can be a scent!, invades my nostrils.
I shiver, but continue to unload you, one at a time.
I get into a rhythm. All seems to be going well, until it’s not.
The machine spits one of you back at me. One of you already in my hand, ready to enter, causes me to step off balance and I drop a few of you.
I groan. I grunt.
No one laughs. No one sympathizes. We are all here doing the one specific thing we hate doing.
I finish and my hands are a sticky mess. I push the big green button and take my ticket.
I thought for certain there were thousands of you in there, but the measly $5.70 on the ticket tells me otherwise.
I wash my hands, thankful this event is over.
Until next time – you awful bottle return process!!