"Cleanup Crew" - Chapter One, part 2 / by D.M. Jerman

I know that part of the motivation was selfish- in addition to wanting the trash pilings serving as her many beds to get lost, I was quite curious about what she'd started carrying around that seemed so important. I wasn't alone in this last note- Jake felt the same. We were people who felt that minimalism was a huge key to happiness and to directly visually correlate Mina's happiness with a previous lack of belongings and freedom to move about the streets unencombered or esconced only with imaginary friends. It was a motivator by way of a strange anger. In the face of her dilemma we felt maddened, impotent.

Gloved and masked, pulling her up from the sidewalk by her now ripped dingy raincloud of a coat. It was surprisingly easy- she weighed almost nothing under all that layered accumen. Natually she was noisome, so we brought her right into the shower and stripped her under the water. She needed to have her nails cut, to have her hair cut. Her milky eyes didn't apologize. She seemed to sleepwalk thru all that and our getting her into spare pj's and under a blanket on the couch. She started to snore while we stared at her, then we went down to the street to survey the damage. By the time we storted everything the only things that weren't broken, ripped or soiled beyond measure were, miraculously, a snowglobe featuring a ballerina over a cityscape and a brand new pack of tube socks.

That night Mina died in her sleep. It must have happened soon after we brought her in, as she was quite cold by morning.

I firmly believe she felt free to pass away because we had helped her relieve her material burden. Her snowglobe was also a music box that played a very lonely tune neither of us knew. But all that day we kept winding it up and listening, in requiem for Mina.

Thus the birth of the Cleanup Crew.