Tuesday, June 26, 2007

In My Solitude
By Anonymous Cornstarch

In a tiny moment of solitude, I rested my weary head against my car’s headrest while waiting for a evening meeting to begin. I turned and stared for an oddly long time at an overturned, beat-up silver grocery cart abandoned on the sidewalk outside my friend’s apartment. I wondered, “Why??” Why was the cart just … there? To add insult to my injured solitude, a small plastic bag was stuck to it.

I wasn’t sure if I was more intrigued with the plastic bag or the cart. I’d assumed the cart was there due to socio-economic reasons, i.e. the people in the neighborhood had to walk to the grocery store and used the cart to get food back home to the family; as opposed to derelict reasons, i.e. some kids used the cart for a joy ride. The plastic bag was clearly there due to negligence. I’d just listened to a story on NPR [National Public Radio] regarding the abolition of plastic bags in a small town in New Zealand (or somewhere; the guy being interviewed had an accent that sounded like a person from South Africa). The small town grocery stores had done away with all plastic bags and began using a biodegradable bag made of cornstarch that, as I listened to story, began to imagine would simply disintegrate after use… “poosh…Bye-Bye”. Seeing that white plastic bag stuck steadfast to the grocery cart, I’d wished that the New Zealander’s would get their cornstarch to Van Nuys where I was so I could enjoy my moment of solitude.

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