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Medicinal value and a third bag …

Yet another go-back-to-sleep experiment went awry this morning.

Both eyes fixated on the clock at 4:48 a.m. Soothing mantras that implored me to find some peaceful shuteye fell well short of results. Another attempt to nod off was made at 5:04. Again, nothing. Such futility is nothing new. So with an audible ‘Let’s do this’ it was up and at ’em at 5:14, regardless of my wish to remain undercover and conked out.

Then again, my nighttime woes may have been influenced by the multiple Dunkels and Southside Weiss ales served at Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. What seemed quite tasty at the time now underscores my faulty late-night thought process about What’s wrong with one more? Most of my early walks offer mental health benefits, but this morning my throbbing head would depend heavily on other medicinal values of putting one unsteady foot in front of the other.

Most jaunts create other sorts of headaches. This morning, with a start time of 5:33 a.m., was hardly any different.

It just never ceases to amaze, anger and appall me how slovenly people can be. Before I reach Fairview, scarcely one-third of my lap around the big block, my bag is nearly full. Some poor Toyota met an untimely fate at the major intersection of Fairview and Colony, and now remnants of its plastic parts are in the bag. The big space eater, however,was a rigid plastic to-go box. I hate those things. They have no value other than to contain half-eaten chicken tettrizini.

Three bags full didn't do much to alleve my headache.

Three bags full didn’t do much to alleve my headache.

By the time I reach Sharon Road, I’m begging for another bag. You’d think I’d learn to carry a spare, but no. That would be too sensible. Really, one more super-sized Gatorade bottle or other large piece of junk and I’ll be holding litter in my hands.

As I head south on Sharon, my savior comes into view. Some dolt has ditched not one, but two plastic bags of empty cartons and bottles of Yuengling, another favored brew of mine. So now I’m good to go for the 3/4 mile stretch to home.

Right as rain, the second and third bags are put into immediate use. McDonalds and Burger King bags and Chick-Fil-A boxes can’t be left where they lie, and the same goes for beer cans.

I cruise into my alleyway with a smooth 6 – 7 pounds of junk corralled in the three bags. All of it is splashed out on the driveway, the perfunctory photo taken, the bounty re-bagged for recycling and now it’s on to the kitchen to nuke a cup of cold coffee.

My work is done but the walk fell a little short on the medicinal front: now it’s up to Advil to finish the job that footsteps only started.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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