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Dollars and sense …

We still use small green recycle bins in my neighborhood. We have yet to graduate to the hulking two wheel jobs like the rest of the townsfolk. So we lug our smallish receptacles by hand to the curb. 

I really could use one of the bigger models. Most weeks the smaller versions can’t possibly hold everything I collect on my walks. 

Most neighbors make a good faith effort to recycle but much of what they deposit in the green plastic bins is fairly large and uniform; cardboard boxes, empty bottles of laundry detergent and sacks of water and soda bottles. 

Then there’s my hodge-podge jumble of junk. In any given week it’s a motley collection of hundreds of different pieces of trash in the same plastic bags that took my walk with me. Many of the finds are minuscule, almost no two things are alike, many are smashed while still more is just plain ragtag. Sometimes from the kitchen table I can hear the beep-beep-beep of the recycle truck as it backs into view in my deadend street. 

I wonder, too, what the scrawny guy who hoists, then dumps, the junk into the stinky hold of the truck thinks of my heap ‘o trash. He’s gotta wonder “What the hell?” I feel for the guy. 

But he has his job and I have mine. He just happens to get paid. Me, my wages aren’t measured in dollars but sense; the sense that my ‘hood is a little cleaner. 

These bags won’t all fit into my green recycle bin. 

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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