"The landscapes of love are many and varied," writes Austin writer Clara Bensen, whose own love landscape is a 36-square-foot dumpster her boyfriend lives in. Her bae, environmental science professor Jeff Wilson, has taken upon himself the name Professor Dumpster and spent the last year living in a dumpster that he and his students have slowly been converting into a slightly more livable dumpster. This week, in Salon, she answers the most pressing question underpinning this innovative experiment in adaptive reuse and pared-down living: what's it like to "fool around" in there?
What it's like to "fool around" in there is "more complicated than it used to be":
"When it comes to privacy, our choices are often limited to the occasional house visit and the dumpster, which is usually parked a few feet behind the women's residence hall. We regularly get asked if we've done the deed in the dumpster. For the sake of Jeff's position, all I'm at liberty to say is discreet passion is (almost) impossible in a thin metal box where one careless sigh can inform the entire neighborhood on the finer points of our recreational activity." Discreet passion: almost, but not quite impossible within a tricked-out garbage receptacle. Professor Jeff Dumpster also spends the rare night at her house, but he "feels guilty" there, "almost like he's cheating." He doesn't even keep a spare tootbrush there. (What's up with THAT, Jeff??)
Bensen allows that their setup is "one of the more peculiar ones around," but it stays "vibrant and loving—due, in no small part, to the fact that we're flexible and we welcome the strange and curious. We still want each other after all these wild months. We're still slow to say goodnight."
Presumably, this is because of mushy gushy prolonged goodbyes, and not because Bensen has to "channel a chimpanzee" to enter or exit her boyfriend's house. In any case, hats off to these crazy young lovebirds.
· My boyfriend lives in a dumpster [Salon]
· 'Prof. Dumpster' Will Teach Your Kids to Live in a Garbage Bin [Curbed National]