I remember traveling somewhere as a child seated in the back of my dad’s Nash Rambler station wagon and looking out the back gate at the guardrails along the road. My mind would always wander when we would stop in traffic looking at a rock or a broken bottle or tin can under the rails, and I’d think, “What’s the story behind that getting there? Did it just accidentally fall from someone’s grasp or the back of a truck, or was it thrown there on purpose?”
Of course, I never knew or ever found out, but I would always imagine different scenarios like a clip from a movie of what happened to have whatever it was end up there. Inevitably, I would end up in a contemplative, melancholy state.
Soon thereafter, however, my thoughts would always shift to whether or not anyone, anyone ever, had even noticed this slice of an invisible existence, or was I the only one.
I never figured that one out either.
But that mysterious unknown story… those instances, those little undisclosed, ubiquitous, stories still rise in my mind even today when I find myself by chance gazing upon an unreconciled piece of our world.
The sidewalks of the shopping plaza I work at is cluttered with them daily.
Each scrap of torn ATM receipt,
Each discarded wrapper,
Each melting piece of candy,
Each disgusting wad of gum,
Each wet cigarette butt,
Each copper penny,
Each $10 bill,
Each discarded condom,
Each unopened condom,
Each fallen hibiscus,
Each Styrofoam coffee cup,
Each dead bird,
Each poisoned rat,
Each mangy, abandoned dog,
Each shiftless, homeless bum,
Each grumpy neighbor,
Each rude cashier,
Each irritating mother with her kids,
Each slutty chick,
Each A-hole guy,
Each judgemental parent,
Each uncaring spouse,
Each dreg of this life,
Each drain on your time.
It’s all there on the sidewalk under our feet.
It’s hard to get everything when it rains.
Not because it’s wet, but because you can’t see too well…
…what with the puddles casting up only a reflection.