Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Unreachables

The doors and windows to the bar were wide open letting in the fresh breezes and the afternoon sun.

It was Spring and many of us were sitting outside at a cafe and a nearby coffee shop. It was perhaps perhaps the first full realization of Spring -- that it actually arrived and that it will actually stay. Even the dogs being walked by their sandal-wearing owners in shorts and skirts had an extra pep in their steps.

This urban, bucolic scene was swiftly knifed. Looking out into the street, I see the driver of a shiny black Mercedes slide down his window and drop a large, empty coffee cup -- plastic top still securely on top of it -- onto the street. It lands just next to his car, rolls slightly, and comes to a rest in the middle of the busy street. His window slides back up.

My disbelief turns into general objection followed by rage rather quickly. I see him inside his car, laughing with his companion, his head shaved and his collar white.

Now, I know he didn't hurt anyone, I know he didn't even mar a natural landscape, and sure, the street cleaners will get it, anyway, but come on!

This embodies the disconnection with the natural world that imperils us all. It's just plain ugly. We can do better than this. Maybe he can't. Maybe he's just an ugly person. He's one of the unreachables, and there are probably plenty of those, unfortunately.

Yet, as I see this, I am very close to getting out of my seat and walking out of the bar and into the street, picking up the cup, and tapping his window with my bold knuckle and saying something like 'you dropped this'.

I also think about the headlines the next day -- Good Samaritan Shot for Confronting Litterbug. That would be stupid of me to get shot.

So the car with the culprit moves away shortly, and all I can do is give him the universal gesture of displeasure, middle finger bold and true as he slowly pulls away and down the street. He doesn't even see it. I'm twisting in the wind as they say.

The people sitting next to me do see my gesture and throw me odd looks. They wonder who this freak is sitting next to them with has his finger silently extended, seemingly to the world in general, and on such a great afternoon. Oh well.

The sun continues to beat down on us, happily. Another beautiful girl walks by with her beautiful boyfriend not noticing the lavender lilacs someone planted in the nearby organic tarmac. Soon, I begin to see the humor of it all. You have to. And I don't let it ruin my day, but certainly, hands in pockets en route home pondering connections, I remember it.

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