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12/23/2005: "Bread Bag"

On the way to the garbage can, pass the fresh pile of wood for the stove, I find a Western Family white bread bag. Forlorn. Trash that didnít make it or stay in one of the cans across the street.

There arenít many bread wrappers in our garbage. I use a bread machine, eat whole grains and live across from low cost housing. The place is called Paxton Manor. The name sounds regal, well tended, as if someone from the ownership or ruling class would live or go on holiday there. I like where we live, close to town, not surrounded by trophy houses or in a simulation of a suburban neighborhood (after all Sitka has a population of 8,500). But the daily garbage on the ground, the smokers puffing on the hour are kind of sad. These smokers have names; I know them for the most part. I hear their voices, sometimes shrill, raised at their kids who might not have gotten in the door fast enough or have wandered down the road. I canít help but read a bit of anger, disappointment and exhaustion into those voices. Perhaps there is a lot of joy behind the row of front doors that face us (when the ďmanorĒ was demolished and rebuilt several years ago, the new units lost their second doors and all the front doors now face us. See the film clip for Demolished
on this site.)

As I look across the street, think about the voices, the garbage, white bread and nicotine addiction, a car drives up and out comes a man carrying several pizza boxes. More potential trash. For the kids who will eat the pizza, whose voices I love to hear when they play together or cross the street to show us their bikes, throw a snowball and smile-- I hope there is hope, joy and a glimmer of a calm future. Besides, then when they grow up the woman across the street wonít be saddened by the sound of their voices, and maybe wonít be picking up bread bags and other garbage off the ground.