The existential state of the modern internet-dwelling human is to come across a video or photo of an animal surrounded by trash and immediately think, either with pride or resignation, “That’s me.” Am I that pigeon, cradling my bread snack in the crook of my neck because this train is too crowded to unpin my hands from my sides? you might wonder. Or, you may relate to an insect, dragging a cigarette butt like a sack full of gold coins. But not all trash animals are created in the same holy image — each has a unique personality, as well as a unique taste in garbage.
Consider them all; which one are you?
T-shirt, the dumpster-diving bear
The untamable bad boy
You’re a glutton with an irresistible taste for garbage — and you’ll go to whatever lengths necessary to satisfy it. You’ve had run-ins with the authorities more than once, but that hasn’t stopped you from doing whatever the hell you want. Some may tell you that you’re irresponsible, or worse, reckless; the thing is, they’re not wrong. But as long as you’re not causing any serious harm to yourself or others, you’re not going to stop throwing caution to the wind. If there’s a party, you’ll be there; if there’s a backyard at this party, you’ll be in the back, shotgunning beers.
The outdoorsy guy
You may live in the city, but you feel most at home when you’re outdoors, going on long hikes with walking sticks and building fires with rocks and your bare hooves. For the most part, you tend to keep to yourself — that is, unless someone messes with you or one of your brothers. In that case, you bet your ass you’ll be calling up between 29 and 49 of your hog brothers to fuck that person up. You’re tenacious, you’re stubborn, you’re aggressive, you’re… feral. No one can stop you. Not even a machine gun.
You were proudly eating garbage before it was cool to be a trash muncher — how New York of you. And you know you’re hip. You stopped using shampoo years ago. You go gallery hopping … in Bushwick. You’ve told no fewer than ten uninterested strangers at a party that they simply must watch Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I, a classic “garbage”-eating movie. (Just as you do in trash, you have good taste in film.) Even when you get a little too sloshed at 169 Bar, you don’t turn into an asshole who would, say, call an overpriced Lyft and order $40 of food on Seamless. Like a real hip New Yorker, you know there’s no better drunk food than a dollar slice, and you bet your ass you’re taking yourself home via the subway.
The fashion girl
You just hit the Opening Ceremony sample sale and now you’re off to comb Soho for the smallest pair of Le Specs you can find. You own a suite of Champion sweatshirts, your bangs are anchored on either side of your face with pearl hair clips, and your handbag is only large enough to hold a single quarter — and not just because you’re a pigeon. No, you’re a fashion girl, the rare bird who can wear her trash-meal around her neck and still make it look chic. See you and your bagel ruff tonight at China Chalet.
The tortured artist
You love that rock-and-roll lifestyle, shooting tequila and blowing lines until your brain is so far in space, you’re scrounging cigarettes from the sidewalk. You don’t eat (nicotine is an appetite suppressant), and you don’t sleep; you spend your time either scrabbling around in search of sex and sustenance, or recuperating alone inside this dark cupboard over here. You can be found ripping butts outside the bar in your tiny leather jacket, talking loudly about how you spent a whole weekend in Berghain that one time your band played Berlin. You are a filthy little smoking roach, and I bet you liked that, didn’t you?