I compare my one kilometre walk from The Madison Apartments to the Strathcona Garden Recreation Centre a gauntlet run, in which I am forced to march between a grotesque display of trash on my left and loud speeding vehicles on my right. By the time I get to my exercise program, I feel as though I've been beat with clubs and whips.
Today, as soon as I left the front property of 345 Dogwood and turned north, I was overcome with the smell of cat litter and cat crap that had been dumped on the boulevard in front of Durable Properties. I quickened my pace and swept past a collection of cigarette butts, a brown banana peel, and a crushed can of soda. I looked up and my sight was bombarded by an assortment of paper cups, plastic straws, pizza boxes, and a soggy sandwich, all strewn amongst a stack of rotting logs on the boulevard in front of the curling club. I continued toward my destination but was distracted by the bright blue tag that local hooligans had forced on the tall sign that broadcasts the daily specials at the bakery.
Halfway to my goal, I glanced at a cluster of trash outside a garbage container housed in the bus shelter. I continued down the street and passed one fork, seven paper cups, plastic wrap, more pizza containers, two cigarette boxes, and a spoon on the second street block boulevard. I felt disappointed that the boulevard in front of Lions Manor was strewn with papers and a plastic container. I picked up my pace and tried hard not to pay such close attention to the garbage. At the next intersection, I couldn't touch the crosswalk button because it was coated with a mysterious brown substance.
On the last leg of my journey, discarded plastic and paper containers, several pens and pencils, a clump of soggy paper, a set of broken headphones, bubble wrap, and a flat green garbage bag seemed to be calling out, “Look at me! Look at me!” I scrambled up the stairs to the recreation centre, slipped quietly into the building and caught my breath. As I walked toward the studio door, I glanced at the flickering fireplace and noticed a grouping of candy wrappers on the ledge in front of it. I thought, “Oh, my goodness, where does it end?”
|First block gauntlet run|
|Second block gauntlet run|
|Final gauntlet run|