A leaf, a piece of stone, a business card for a residential painting company, a dirty bottlecap, a large piece of mulch, a lone dandelion in a well kempt field, a pinecone, a perfectly symmetrical dead leaf and a zipper; what do these things have in common?
Jerry sat in a chair watching the television. He was confused as to why his wife seemed so distraught earlier, before leaving the house, or why she insisted that he stayed there and relaxed. He was tired of constantly being told to stay in the house. Jerry had always enjoyed the relaxation of taking long walks, and it wouldn’t be long before the sun was at its fullest heat.
Today felt like a particularly beautiful day to take a walk. Jerry decided that he could not permit his wife’s harsh insistence to keep him from experiencing such a beautiful day first hand. Jerry fetched his walking hat, which more so resembled a fisherman’s cap (he deemed it more protective from the sun), his blue early autumn windbreaker and put on his white tennis shoes; stained from grass and mud. He stepped out onto his front patio, stretched, and smiled. It was a beautiful day for a walk.
Jerry had several strange quirks. For one thing, his biggest pet peeve was pollution. Jerry would see old pieces of paper, or random pieces of garbage on the ground, and was always compelled to pocket the garbage, either to throw away at a later time, or at times simply to collect with the presumption that he could somehow use the items at a later date.
By the time Jerry had made the left down Sycamore St., and crossed the street to reach the shaded walking trail, he had accumulated an old bottle cap, a business card for a residential painting business, and a sheet of paper with several phone numbers on it; most likely for another business, and an old zipper.
Walking along the shaded trail, Jerry admired the fresh and well kempt grass along the sides of the dusty dirt trail. Somewhere along the trail he noticed a lone dandelion in the perfect grass, and decided to pick it. He thought of his wife when he picked the dandelion. He noticed a small pebble in the middle of the path; an eye sore in a beautiful landscape. He picked it up, and pocketed it. Later he noticed a large piece of mulch separated from the rest of the mulch in a community garden to his right. This too went into the windbreaker’s left pocket.
(insert pictures; dandelion, pebble, mulch)
Jerry continued to walk and found himself picking up more things and pocketing them. Many were simply eyesores to him and others reminded him of some feeling or another, sometimes annoyance and other times serenity. The sun was beating on Jerry as minutes continued to pass, and eventually changed to hours. Jerry continued to walk, although some of his time spent walking seemed to turn into something of a daze. Along to the end of the trail, onto Elm St, and then a right onto Poplar. Eventually Jerry found himself in a desolate parking lot, in front of an old abandoned grocery store. It seemed unfamiliar and confusing to him.
There was a lone car in the parking lot, and a young woman in it shouting and running towards him. It was, of course, Jerry’s wife.
“Daddy! Get over here! I told you not to leave the house! I was so scared.” His obscured vision cleared for a moment to realize that this was not his wife, but someone else who looked familiar.