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Tripping over my tongue …

I’ve stumbled over lots of things on my walks; my own two feet, untied shoelaces, sidewalk cracks, mis-timed hops over downed tree limbs and stray rocks.

And now my tongue has gotten in the way, too.

Earlier this week as I walked quickly with my head down and was about to enter the homestretch, I nearly steamrolled a man and woman at the corner of Sharon Road and Sharon View. I started to mumble something akin to ‘Sorry’ and get back to the business at hand, but what to my wondering eyes should appear was this: both near-victims carried trash bags which clearly held contents.

Your author is such a goof. I stumble upon other converts by chance, and blow the opportunity to make new friends of these do gooders.

Your author is such a dork. I stumble upon other converts by chance, and blow the opportunity to make new friends of these do gooders.

This is when my tongue got the best of me. I stammered to say ‘thank you’ and blurted out that I did picked up trash too. This was, the man said, their stretch of road to keep tidy. Seconds later and without other pleasantries, we went our separate ways. I can’t really recall what I said but not too many steps later it occurred to me what a lost opportunity this was. Why didn’t we introduce ourselves? How come I didn’t get at least their first names? How often did they patrol this section of the sidewalk and when did you start? Could I maybe get your photo sometime? Are there others you know who pick up litter? Here’s my blog site …

But no. I kicked myself the rest of the way home for missing the boat. I fell flat on my face without ever hitting the concrete. Maybe I’ll see this couple again and can atone for the chance to properly thank these picker-uppers.

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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