Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the sweeping of US route1

as i travel to and from work everyday i need to find ways to entertain myself during the 3 hours i spend on the road- so today I found myself sighing an AHHHH went i noticed that route 1 had been cleared of debris. One of my favorite things is to take note of highway junk. Route 1 is an archeologists dream and I often wonder what people in the future will make of the buried findings on our abandoned freeways. Some things are natural rubbish; weeds, remnants of a variety of winged creatures, road kill of varying sizes and shapes (recently i was unable to make out the species on one particular carcass? was it a bear cub? it certainly wasn't a dog or cat) - whatever it was, it broke my heart. One day I actually saw a bird fly right into the car in front of me and ping off the front fender like a bullet. very sad.

but the man made artifacts are of most interest to me. A lot of it I totally get, and it makes perfect sense how they came to find themselves on the side of the road; cigarette buts (of which i am a guilty offender), trash bags, grocery bags that often take flight and scare the shit out of me, plastic water bottles, empty energy drink tins no doubt tossed with zeal, endless proof that Dunkin' Donuts still rules or perhaps just evidence that Starbucks drinkers are more environmentally conscious and of course paper, paper, paper. Collision residuals are totally understandable although I don't get why they don't pick up all the bumpers, fenders, headlight casings, hub caps, and shattered glass rather than just sweeping them to the side.

but the really good stuff are those things that make me asked How the hell did that get there?? on the side of a highway? OK so baseball caps- maybe the wind blew them off, but lawn chairs, couch cushions, refrigerators, garden tools, ladders, teady bears, bicycles, childrens toys? The soiled diapers adorned with pink butterflies? - (shame on them for tossing those out the window) and how does the single shoe end up there? i don't understand that. I've seen hundreds of single shoes. Once i actually saw a suit jacket still sheathed in its 2ml plastic dry cleaning cover, wire hanger still in place. the most ridiculous sighting of all however has to be the bald, one armed manikin torso which settled propped upright again the guardrail, eyes looking upward, hand reaching to the skies above. i really wanted to stop and get it but it would have meant my life and since it was a good day, i decided against that option.

anyway, i look forward to the accumulation of new things and will keep you abreast of any noteworthy finds.

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