Thursday, January 21, 2010
so i exited the delavan center too tired or hurried or apathetic to worry much about uppercase letters and walked across west fayette street and headed east, under the railroad overpass, facing traffic, the minutues of living dangerously by walking on the side w/o a sidewalk like a knucklehead. seeing an american eagle shoe box or sneakerbox smack dab in the middle of west fayette street near west street I picked it up, angry to find such a blatant display of street rubbish. i carried it in my right hand. my left shoulder held my heavy backpack w/ my white MacBook; sometimes i simply carried the pack, almost dragging to the ice-melting pavement or roadway, with my left hand. the red american eagle empty shoebox or sneakerbox served as a display to oncoming traffic that someone was afoot, like ratso rizzo in midnight cowboy saying 'i'm walkin' here!' but as i went along the pedestrian-forbidden west street ramp and over west genesee street and down herald place i saw so much litter that i was tempted to toss it in the road. who'd know the difference? bottles boxes cartons wrappers plastic cans glass metal. the detritus of urban what? decay? carelessness? morass? lassitude? a pity. you walk you see it. you drive, you don't. i became sad at my quixotic quest. who notices? one piece of litter or one million pieces of litter in syracuse, new york, or nearly any other city in america; who notices? what is it about our national character, or lack thereof? (it's not national; it's individual and individual and individual ad nauseam) americans especially those so-called lowercase tea-baggers would be hugely insulted if they heard someone say that americans are dirty, that america is a dirty country; they'd be offended. but compared to some other places on the globe -- oh no, not all, not all, that's for sure -- we are sloppy and litter-strewn and not proud at all of our living space. proud american. eagle. but people get all up in arms, literally, about symbols of america, flags, eagles, etc. as if they are pristine, but the same people, do they accept the presence of a landscape strewn with litter? but i held onto the american eagle box until finding a plastic, bag-lined trash barrel (empty) over by mission landing. i tossed it in there, feeling vaguely as if i was being watched disposing of contraband. i continued walking across the mission landing parking lot and my left leg slid out from under me, the victim of melting black ince [now there's an everyday oxymoron]. my left hand caught the fall. my kneck and back wrenched. i got back up, uncut, unbroken unbowed. this reminded me of two years ago when completely invisible black ice caused my left leg to rip out from under me almost making me lose my breath and tearing my hamstring such that it was bruised, bruised!, for weeks afterward, even while in berlin, germany. i marched onward, to freedom of espresso, an oasis, a welcome respite.