Yesterday I confronted the garbage lady and asked her to move her garbage somewhere else. I explained the situation with many graphic gestures--making mountains with my hands to indicate the garbage heaped up everywhere, holding my nose to communicate the bad smell, flapping and buzzing in imitation of the hordes of flies, covering my heart with my hand and looking sorrowful, to accompany the statement, "This is my home, and the garbage is ugly." I repeated these gestures several times, and she looked at me intently and said, "Get out." I thought my communications were successful, since she immediately started moving the garbage. When I went down this morning, the courtyard was clean as a whistle.
Then when I went down in the afternoon, their were more piles of sorted and bagged-up recycleables, stashed behind the garbage cans, attracting flies and looking hideous. I had a client arriving in twenty minutes. I lost my temper and piled every extraneous bag onto the curb with the rest of the garbage.
I hope this gets the message across; I hope our building is not issued a sanitation ticket for improperly-bagged recycleables; I hope I don't experience an instant karmic backlash. But I'm practicing communicating the notion that 'kind person' does not equal 'pushover.' Such is the metaphor for codependency--having a front yard full of someone else's garbage.