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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 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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