Note to self: when the clock reads 4:53 on a Sunday morning, stay in bed. At least pretend you’re trying to sleep. This really isn’t news. Maybe there’s something to the buzz about melatonin.
But by 5:05 the coffee is on, walking shoes laced up and weather radar app checked. It shows rain at some point. 10 minutes later I’m out the door and into the calm darkness.
The calm is pierced along Colony when a heated argument is heard from one of the apartments on the west side of the street. The woman’s voice is louder than the man’s. I wonder what’s worth yelling about at 5:30 in the morning. No doubt the neighbors wonder about it, too.
The weather aside, it’s a tough morning for trash. The sidewalks and curbs are smothered by leaves glittery from moisture. This only serves to hide evil litter. I accept the conditions and will pick up what I can.
There’s plenty of junk that’s still visible; eight or so water bottles, an empty one gallon bottle of motor oil crushed flat, assorted beer cans and liquor bottles, a Zaxbys polystyrene food containers plus a few unmentionables.
Of course, a light rain begins to fall at precisely the halfway point. My instinct is to pick up the pace but by now I’m sweating and wonder aloud “what’s the point?” The worst that can happen is that rain soaks my Patagonia wind shell. So the cadence goes unchanged.
The home stretch down Sharon View is always quiet. I pass a stand of live oaks along the sidewalk and pause for a moment to listen to the pat-pat-pat of rain drops on leaves. It’s the rough equivalent of stopping to smell the roses. For those few precious seconds, the sidewalk serenity is nice, relaxing and borderline meditative.
Within 10 minutes I’m home, the morning Charlotte Observer is on the stoop, my wet shoes are off and a cupful of coffee is nuked. Two bags containing 7 – 8 pounds of trash are out back to await sorting. I’ll get to them soon enough. But there’s coffee to finish first.