A place to indulge my narcissism... and write stuff...

America the Litterful (aka Landfill of the Free)

“Walking down Main Street,
Getting to know the concrete.”

“Tear Stained Eye” – Jay Farrar of Son Volt

Early Friday morning I left my car at European Auto Werks and walked most of the 4.16 miles home. I was going to iPod out the din of life on that route, but instead decided to leave all senses available for the trip. Traversing a common path by foot provides such a different perspective than through a windshield. Our streets are crumbling like dry chocolate cake and chunks of asphalt are strewn around craters where they once lay. The blacker repairs are clearly temporary and quality of their installation lacking. I passed many dormant storefronts and old churches broken by time.

What accompanied nearly every step was litter. Superfund sites aside, I’m concerned that we are literally littering (wow, that was bad alliteration…) our country into a dump. I saw Bud Light and Coors Light cans, various auto parts of rusted metal and black rubber, fast-food packaging, and of course cigarette butts; my favorite. Oh, and there’s a flattened plastic jug of windshield fluid. I guess the owner was finished with it… Much of this garbage is invisible at 20 miles per hour or more (driving, not running), but it’s right there in 3D when you’re stepping over it.

Why do people litter? Did no one ever tell them not to? When I was a kid, this Public Service Announcement ran for quite some time. Maybe it’s time for a sequel.

As I climbed a long hill close to home, an aging ambulance accelerated past me leaving a cloud of acrid blue carbon poison in my path. Is that Spring in the air?


  1. Anonymous

    4.5 miles of asphalt, dirt, CO and rubbish Kwai Chang Caine style – sounds like penance and a blister.

    Nameless to protect the innocence…

  2. fifteenkey

    Wow. There was a blister involved…

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