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The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


September 1st, 2019

The brakes squealed as Lucilius brought the stinking truck to another stop.  He was working alone today, so the run was taking much longer. He stepped down from the cab and walked back to the hopper – a giant iron mouth of garbage.


He slapped a couple joysticks, toggling them and initiating a packing cycle.  A hydraulic whine rang out as an steel tongue lifted from the mouth’s bed, lapping garbage slowly back into the container’s throat.


A clatter of garage rustled to life and Lucilius looked to see a portly man hastily dressed in a bathrobe squat below the rising door and waddle out with a couple garbage bins in tow.  One of the man’s slippers slipped off as he hurried down the driveway and the man cursed.  He stopped hastily right in front of Lucilius, out of breath, and watched the hopper’s packing cycle come to an end, the clean silver hydraulic arms shrinking back into their dirty sheaths. 


The man looked at Lucilius.


“Just you today?”


“Yep,” Lucilius said.


“Usually there’s two of you.  One hanging off the back here.”


“Just me today,” Lucilius said.


“Well thank god.  You’re later than usual, and I would have missed you otherwise.”


Lucilius didn’t respond.  He just took one of the man’s garbage cans and emptied it into the hopper’s empty maw.  The man watched everything spill out.



“Why do I have all this shit?  I never wanted any of this.”  The man looked back at his suburban house.  “I mean I love my kids and all, but when I’m home I feel like I’m just swimming in junk . . .  This shit,” the man said flicking his hands in the direction of the hopper.


“My friend,” Lucilius said, “What fortune has made yours is not your own.”


The man’s face furrowed at the sentiment.  “What?”


“You are possessed by fortune.  Everyone thinks it’s the other way around.


And no matter how much you throw away…


more is coming for you.”

Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 504: A Lucilius Parable: Trash

Tinkered Thinking

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