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Pent up demand, the hanging judge and Sisyphus …

I was out of the city and away from my pampered path for a couple of weekends. The rational mind would deduce that the more days without an attentive picker upper, the more trash would accumulate.

The answer would be a definitive ‘yes.’ As in ‘Yes, there is one helluva lot more trash.’

So this past Saturday would be a big day, a day of pent up demand. The littering scofflaws try to get by with an urban version of axe murder, and along comes the roadside version of the hanging judge. That’s me. If these goofs cowered before me in Litterer’s Court (move over, Judge Judy) there would be straight hell to pay. Every time there was a work crew to pick up some road median in Charlotte, they’d be on it. And like Sisyphus, they’d be eternally sentenced to walk around blocks I would assign – and when they were within mere steps of completing their path pick up – oops, around they’d trudge again. And again.

Sisyphus and I are both paying a different kind of penance. His is a rock, mine is a bag

Sisyphus and I are both paying a different kind of penance. His is a rock, mine is a bag

Unable to sleep and wait any longer, I was out the door at 5:07 a.m., armed with two bags  and fully expecting both to be stretched full by the end of the 90 minute session. It was nearly a called shot. By the time I got half way (near Philips Place) bag #1 was jammed so backup bag #2 went into service. And pretty soon, it was stretched to the max, too.

Actually, I can sort of identify with Sisyphus. He’s a kindred spirit. His sentence was largely uphill; mine is mostly flat but feels like an entirely on an incline. Where the Greek had his rock, I have my trash. I guess it is that means we’re both sentenced to eternal suffering, him with his infernal stone, me with my God-awful litter.

Move over, scofflaws. The judge is coming through.

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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