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Yammering at fools …

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.

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Perhaps I have good reason to be pissed off. It’s scenes like this – day after stinking day – that might be pushing me to some sort of brink.

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.

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.

1 Comment on Yammering at fools …

  1. I live in a predominantly black neighborhood and at the rate my street gets trashed it is definitely “Black Trash Matters!” The City Code Enforcement Department is a waste of tax money.

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