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A sorry state on South Blvd. …

When I need work done on my aging Camry, I haul it over to a little shop on South Blvd. in Charlotte. They advertise that the work will be done speedily. It never is.

So, rather than sit around for the better part of an hour watching their grainy small screen TV or thumbing through last year’s (or the year before) magazines, I head out the door and take a purposeful stroll along the busy street.

This junk may be out of sight below street level but it's not out of mind. My gut is that I will return to take care of this hell-hole of litter.

This junk may be out of sight below street level but it’s not out of mind. My gut is that I will return to take care of this hell-hole of litter.

I’m on the sidewalk to test my theory that the greater volume of traffic – perhaps tens of thousands of cars per day traverse this four lane arterial – the greater the amount of trash and litter. Sadly, there’s no evidence to the contrary to disprove my hypothesis. Invariably, I head less than a block away from the repair shop to one of the messiest places I’ve ever seen on any road anywhere. It is a literal low spot that is a repository/collection point for an insane amount of litter/garbage. This one locale is Exhibit A about everything that is inherently wrong with treating consumable goods as so much waste. It may be out of sight for passing cars, but it is well within the visual range of walkers.

In terms of bagging volume, this 30 yard stretch of would easily – easily – require 10-12 Harris Teeter bags. That breaks down to one bag per three yards. (And consider that I usually take one bag on my 2.5 mile daily hike).

Move a few feet in any direction on South Blvd. and this is what you see - more, more, more junk. It makes me sick.

Move a few feet in any direction on South Blvd. and this is what you see – more, more, more junk. It makes me sick.

There is the temptation to return one day with that many bags or at least a few larger heavyweight bags. Yet as far as drops in the bucket go, this forlorn stretch is just that – a drop in the bucket along a thoroughfare that is a complete mess every foot of the way for miles and miles. It would be like pissing into the wind. How much good does that do you?

No sooner do I turn my head in utter disgust than I’m on my way down the pavement – and there’s more trash to be seen. Literally, there is something – many somethings, actually – every damned step of the way that any conscientious pathway environmentalist could stoop to conquer.

The volume of junk is only rivaled by my volume of cursing. It makes me wonder what's wrong with the basic humanity of people. Then again, maybe I don't want to know.

The volume of junk is only rivaled by my volume of cursing. It makes me wonder what’s wrong with the basic humanity of people. Then again, maybe I don’t want to know.

Here’s what’s doubly depressing: This is only one stretch along the thousands of miles of busy streets in and around Charlotte. My skimpy math skills are incapable of calculating what a colossal amount of litter confronts us, challenges us, and insults us.

In some ways I’m glad the repair shop doesn’t take longer to do its work. That would only mean that much more distance for me to cover – and that many more street side pig sties to find, and to bitch about.

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.

1 Comment on A sorry state on South Blvd. …

  1. We also have a sorry state in NYC 😦 check out my personal instagram at instagram.com/2xcombatvet

    I’m trying to make a difference. Join me 🙂

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