There is no inherent joy in picking up trash; “Gee, another swell piece of litter to pick up” – said no one, ever.
The urge to pick up trash is a cruel addiction.
And some days – even Earth Day – it just plain pisses me off. This was one of those weekend mornings when, for whatever reasons, I stepped out the door angry and agitated. And the pissy mood never got any better, never lightened up, never improved.
I dunno. Maybe in part it was in knowing (from a slow recon stroll the day before) what lay on the ground awaiting me. Walking is supposed to be part of my rehab but not stooping and bending. I’m pissed that I couldn’t help myself, that I didn’t have the self discipline to leave home without a bag.
My silent anger went verbal soon enough; I started to bark at the first Chick-fil-A polystyrene cup not 400 yards into my walk and went into full-bore rage-mode not too much further at the discovery of another poly cup.
Normally I go about my business in a businesslike way. Not this morning. I began to yammer at fools long escaped from the scene of their trash crime(s). Why me, Lord?
And that was just a warm up act.
I was pissed, for the thousandth time, that I have pick up after slobs. Increasingly pissed that I make no palpable difference beyond my same, staid little one-lap circuit knowing there are tons of litter to be picked up elsewhere in Charlotte – and Detroit and Seattle and Miami and Des Moines and Phoenix. Pissed that Pick Up Your Path hasn’t gained a full head of supportive steam among other trash-minded citizens and that I’ve no clue how to promote it or make it bigger or more relevant or appealing. Pissed that I have to waste next weekend in Washington, D.C. to protest the anti-earth actions and policies of a nabob president and his aligned yokels. Pissed that this necessary evil is the best I can do on Earth Day.
Perhaps there’s a breaking point along the line somewhere, a juncture when I finally give in to the pro-trash gods and the incessant tide of more-litter-every-day. Maybe then I can absolve myself of responsibility and guilt and simply wipe my hands of litter once and for all and just let things go.
Mercifully, I have no other known addictions or compulsions. Maybe my senses will return to normalcy tomorrow and I can go about this business without bitching and griping and whining. But that’s tomorrow. This is today.