3.15.2011

Strangers Together.

The amiable stranger who had nodded "hi" when he entered this row of lockers couldn't stop glancing at the heap of used sweaty towels in the far corner, so once his running gear was in place, he glanced apologetically at me and the jolly naked seventy year old man down the bench and muttered, "I don't know why I care so much, it's not like it's messing up my house," and gingerly picked up the towels and disposed of them in the towel bin.

I was inspired by his civic virtue, caring for the mess of a departed stranger, investing in a common space not his own, and I was intrigued by his compulsive (and yet ambivalent) need to narrate his actions: his sense of cleanliness a double-edged sword rendering his action both transgressive (touching a stranger's abandoned sweaty towels) and virtuous (investing in our health and peace of mind).

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