It is garbage. Trash. Litter. Inexpensive single use packaging utensils and containers. A lot of it is. Add to that cigarette butts and packs and cellophane wrappers.
He asked if I'd care to see his process. “Only take a minute” , he said.
On to the back of a cheap unfinished wooden wine box, he squeezed out some squiggles of paint from tubes – maybe 4 or 5 colors. Then he proceeded to mush it and smush it with his fingers. As promised, he worked quickly. In something less than two minutes he said “There.”
The place would be half empty and we would make our way down to the good seats where, if we were lucky, a puck or a tooth would land nearby.
Some folks listened to the ballgame on 'transistor radios' while some bounced from stoop to stoop and back again.
There is no appearance of rank other than possibly age and or the voice of experience which is real
authority. Their hands are coarse, dry and scarred.
In this 50 year interval, there has become for me an affection for the blank billboards on the train platforms, prepared by scraping with a plastering tool so to remove layers of old ads in readiness for new. Nowadays, video screens no doubt provide way higher revenues for the MTA so if you're hunting for scrapes, the
outer borough local stops is where the hunting is best.
Occasionally they support very large trees who's trunks you cannot get your arms around or, they may attain a height of 4 or 5 stories. Along side these solo trees, often now, the pits support fabulous little gardens tended by tenants disposed to gardening and loveliness or, are contracted out to local pro gardeners who propagate these little miracles with panache and horticultural success.
If I then step out of that supermarket and look to my left to see a supermarket size discount pharmacy two blocks away and then look to my right to see a supermarket size discount pharmacy two blocks away, is that variety?
“Climbing Mount Esja,” she said. “A few friends were ahead of me and knocked a stone loose.” She licked her finger and put the jar away. “They were so upset. They thought I was dead!” She laughed, and walked away with her bread.
Remember what we forget. Remember Hard Times. Remember the forgetting that brought Hard Times in the door. Remember where you woke this morning and believe no promise it will be so next you rise. Remember every Heart and every Soul and every Mind now in dateless slumber who resolved to make it better even if better was only to fix a mistake. Make it right again. Now is not the time to forget. Don’t forget to remember. Remember not to forget.
The river came back. The whales came back (though I've not seen one yet) and the krill and the menhaden came back. Who knows what else? Wonder.
What do you need for a hit song? Well, you need a few things. You need singers. Nowadays, not so much. Nowadays, they look at your head shot before they play the demo. Sometimes now, if you just look really good, they can figure out the singing thing later.
Our American English language can be like a serial killer who goes out wearing the personal effects of its copious victims or ancestors. So much vocabulary is permanently borrowed from such sources and rarely do we stop to appreciate or thank those contributing cultures. I learned that in kindergarten.