Yesterday morning, I was contemplating the events of Tuesday’s presidential election. I wondered what my purpose was in a country that I disagreed with so many people about what was good for the future. It hadn’t crossed my mind that I didn’t really belong in this country (though I’m relieved by how both my current state, New York, and former state, Massachusetts, voted). The more I thought about it though, the more I thought about how I’ve always feel out of place. I’m a natural contrarian and I love disagreeing with people—a couple of alienating attributes to have.
Through the normal stresses of life, I had already been feeling really tense—and the election sent me overboard—so I decided to go out to get a massage, something I haven’t done in years. I left my apartment to walk to the spa I had randomly chosen from some suggestions on Foursquare. I got to the end of my block and saw something unusual. It was a man from the New York Sanitation Department, wearing a reflective vest, and sweeping trash off the sidewalk. I thought, I don’t live in a rich or busy enough place for this to happen regularly, but there he was cleaning up my neighborhood.
It felt like a glitch in The Matrix or a stray in Westworld. I wondered if he felt out of place or knew that he looked out of place. I wondered how he got there. Surely he was meant to be in a park, subway station, or downtown. Nope, he was just sweeping the sidewalk in the middle of a mostly residential neighborhood. Surely he was somehow assigned to this place. He wasn’t just some good Samaritan, he had his uniform and everything.
He was just a guy who was in a place that he both belonged in but didn’t fit in to.
I’ll admit it, you got me good Legal Sea Foods. I snapped this picture of an ad on the subway this morning:
I don’t like it when corporate America screws