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Out the window I hear the grinding, crushing jaws of the trash truck picking up it’s Monday morning breakfast from the south-western edge of my front lawn. I say south-western edge like I have some grand estate. Make no mistake, I could leap from the porch and land on the “south-western edge”. And the north-western one too for that matter, but I am simply trying to paint a picture here. We are on a one-way street in the heart of the city, in a Dutch Colonial over a century old that leans more towards charming-fixer-upper rather than noble-historic-dwelling. Either way, it leans. I squint my eyes and peek through the blinds with the intent to inflict some sort of telepathic control over the trash collectors precision of keeping at least a percentage of the refuse from exploding into my driveway. 
It works. 

If required in a rousing game of Pictionary I could probably do a fair job of recreating the thuggish mechanical beast that collects my scraps and leftovers every seven days via deft line-work and a keen photographic memory(aka googling it on my iPhone). I’ve seen them my whole life, so I should be familiar with them, right? Do you know what color your neighborhoods trash truck is? Mines blue... wait, green. Black? Every time I am in another country I take note of things like the way the police sirens sound different; how many versions of the box van there are; how people dress, and yes, how their trash trucks look different than mine.

Everything is different... to somebody. 

I look at that trash truck in front of my house and think how someone visiting my neighborhood for the first time from another country might find it fascinating. And what about from another era? Or Planet. 

Suddenly with new eyes I see something architecturally and mechanically miraculous.

IT PICKS UP THE TRASH, CRUSHES IT, AND TAKES IT SOMEWHERE ELSE! Eat your heart out, quantum physicists, for clearly, this is genius on wheels.

I close my eyes, became a Neanderthal in a cave and reopen to see a wheeled Tyrannosaurus Rex from the future. I grab my club to bash it’s brains out then think better of it. I close and open again- I’m “Grimal” a smoke shop owner in Bali sitting on my front stoop. I notice the fact that the truck loads from the back instead of the front, and has six wheels instead of four. It’s... different.

I close my eyes and open them again as a child. EVERYTHING is new and different when you’ve never seen it before. OH MY! IS THAT A CARDBOARD BOX TO PLAY WITH!? IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS!

A thought pattern like this infects my morning runs. Maybe it’s just a survival instinct developed intuitively to fight a threat of boredom with unchanging daily surroundings. If so, I don’t mind the mental placebo. I see the intricate, organic accents on the capstone edging of the hotel down the street. It’s not the Vatican by any means, but someone put a lot of thought and effort into that at some point, right? Who? I have no idea. 

I see the way curves on a sedan are crafted, and how they differ between makers. Someone somewhere designed those curves and they are proud of how it’s different from the others.The sedans each come in silver, maroon, black or blue no matter who makes it. How predictable. Unless... you aren’t from here. 

Everything is different... to somebody.

I see a homeless man shuffling his way to his daily panhandling perch on the corner of Main and 47th street. What is his story? Did he grow up in this neighborhood? What did his great great grandfather do? Was HE the one who put the intricate details in the masonry work down the street? I close my eyes again and picture him as a 10 year old. What was his reality? Did he like playing “memory cards” like my kids do? Did he say “I want to beg people for money when I grow up”?

Everything is different... to somebody.

I see the debates over who should or shouldn’t marry who dependent on their relative gender. I see arguments erupt amongst strangers with keyboards and thesauruses. I do my best to avoid divisive politics, especially amongst friends. But these days “friends” are counted by the numbers on your profile, and maybe when everyone’s your friend, no-one is. I don’t get fired up when someone’s opinion is different than mine too often, unless its changing lanes on the highway, then I go full on Incredible Hulk. To quote Bruce Banner, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m cut off from the right” or something like that. I suppose that makes me a passive passing pacifist? 

I close my eyes and re-open them and no longer do I see color, or gender, or race. Just glowing pillars of blue light moving about in the space time continuum, and then I think- What is worth arguing about amongst these glowing beings? When do we discover the majority is only as good as the wholeness of it’s minorities? What is worth discussing? Fighting for? Against? What is worth our finite time? We flicker out so quickly.

Everything is different... to somebody.

I close my eyes and reopen them and we are on another planet, spiraling afloat in the cosmos. We are slick-skinned, genderless and olive green with big, emotionless almond shaped eyes walking tall and speaking in clicks and whispered breaths. 
“Higher beings”, they call us. 

How do we respond to each-other with our similarities and differences as aliens? When we all look the same, it takes more digging to find them.

I recline in a hovering chair with no apparent legs that floats 18 AMU’s (alien measurement units) above the soil, supported by an invisible buried magnet. In my hands is what looks like a credit card. I place one of my six, green webbed fingers on it as it reads my endocrine and insulin levels, then displays what I should have for dinner based on what my system needs. 

I get up to go inside and help my partner get the prescribed meal ready. A loud crunching sound catches my attention from the front of our dwelling pod. It’s a rolling, magnificent mechanical device with large articulated arms that seems to be picking up refuse directly from the ground and taking it somewhere. It is not floating like our normal vehicles, but anchored to the earth by four black, circular rotating tube-like drums. It’s blue, metallic and looks like it might be from another planet. 

I whisper in my alien tongue “it’s magnificent”.

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Reader Comments (3)

Hello Friends, Your This Post has some thing very attractive that makes the peoples to enjoy the reading... as i enjoy it every time, Thanks for sharing it with us...

January 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAurora Austin

Wow, thank you so much for this. I've had moments in time where thoughts like these have crossed my mind before; but I haven't been able to transfer my thoughts to my mouth after thinking them. But this, describes that thought pattern perfectly. Thank you very much for your insight :)

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDustin

Reading your content was the best thing I have ever did. Hope to see more of your fresh articles.

July 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbehance

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