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Litter fatigue …

Back in the days when I took marathons more or less seriously (if not for late nights and beer, my 2:24 PR might have been faster), I followed the doings of Bill Rodgers, one of the last great U.S. born marathoners and a multiple Boston winner.

One time he described how some days he loathed the idea of yet another training run, enough so that he said he felt like punching mail boxes along his route.

This isn't today's haul. It's from an excursion last week when my modo was far better. There would be no pictures today as I recovered from my snit.

This isn’t today’s haul. It’s from an excursion last week when my mood was far better. There would be no pictures today as I recovered from my sour attitude.

If runners say they’ve never experienced such feelings on occasion, they’re lying through their teeth. I had that very feeling today.

I didn’t wanna walk. I didn’t wanna pick up trash. I didn’t want to see people, let alone talk to them. You could say, correctly, that I was in a pissy mood. I yanked a Target bag out of the cupboard and wadded it up in my hand, not fully intending, or committed, to use it.

For the first time in nearly four years, I bypassed some things that normally would get tossed in the bag; a stray water bottle, a McDonald’s bag, other bits of plastic. If it wasn’t in my immediate path, that is, within arm’s reach, it would lay where it was.

About half way into my snit, I semi-relented and began to pick up more and more junk. My mood was still sour, and it occurred to me that akin to Bill Rodgers, I had a case of litter fatigue. I was tired of it, tired of an unceasing supply of trash to be picked up.

A feeling of guilt came over me at the thought of items left behind. I’d abandoned my core principle: leave no trash behind. But therein is part of the problem. Whatever is left behind or seen on the curb side as I drive by will still be there tomorrow to be reclaimed. It always is. One can only hope my mood is a little lighter. My path couldn’t stand it two days in a row.

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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