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The crazy guy at Fairview and Sharon…

When this little trash-picking-up enterprise began back in the day (almost four years ago), this picker upper was fairly reticent when it came to performing his task in full view of others, lest they’d give me ‘the look’ and/or think I was loony (that’s rhetorical and does not demand an answer).

When a target was spotted on the ground and a car or other pedestrian was nearby, I’d sheepishly wait until they’d safely passed before I’d pluck & stow the junk in my bag.

No more. I am so over any sense of potential embarrassment. Now I just don’t give a damn what others think. I’m on a mission.

Case in point this morning about 6:45. Two plastic water bottles were perched on the median in a left turn lane at the busy six lane intersection of Fairview  and Sharon Roads. Six or so cars were in queue but I didn’t break stride. I passed in front of the first two cars – no more than six to seven feet away – retrieved my prey and on I went. The drivers couldn’t help but look and no doubt they thought ‘That crazy guy is weird.’ Probably so but I don’t care.

This morning's bags are in the foreground. I'll get to recycling this pile before much longer.

My Saturday morning bags are on top in the middle and in the foreground. I’ll get to sorting and recycling this pile before much longer.

But I do care about what I find. Not long after my encounter with motorists at the median, I came again to the water-filled brown lagoon dug by Time Warner Cable crews referenced in prior posts. It remains a muddy cesspool, and there’s something about water that attracts debris. There were additional “floaters” this morning; a plastic bag imprinted with  a ‘Please Recycle’  mark and a polystyrene food box. Crews had left a shovel behind so fishing the offending items out of the muck was easy. Cars whizzed by but there was no self conscious stoppage to wait for them to pass.

The new bag came in handy just in the nick of time; there were nine or so water bottles plus a horde of other trash laying around on the remainder of my walk. Cars and a couple of runners saw me go about my business. What they may have thought or said aloud about the motives of an early morning walker may have given me pause many walks ago, but not today.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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