I just came in from taking out the small mound of cardboard that had been accumulating in my apartment for some time. It’s a cool night, but pleasantly so–the sun has been down for a few hours, and I’m coming off of the slight buzz I got from sipping away half a bottle of Oregon wine; by all means, there’s nothing at all keeping me from enjoying the short walk down the road to the bins.

I saw this task as a chore, regardless, but I’m struggling with why. While I’d happily wipe the obligations of the home from my task list if I had the opportunity, there are few that I find truly unpleasant. In truth, I often go for walks of my own volition.

Regardless, I found myself pausing at the dumpster on the corner. I could have easily thrown the cardboard away at that point, cutting my time spent outside in half, without any retribution. I could have tossed them in, headed back inside, and continued with my evening as normal. I didn’t, though. I mentally slapped myself on the wrist and walked the extra 100 feet to the proper bins.

While I was out there, I saw some dogprints in the mud. Not the deep, satisfying mud that dirties cars, that kids like to play in, but the shallow silt washed down from the asphalt road above my apartment complex. Just two small prints, maybe made by the Yorkshire terrier I’ve seen a few times. It’s been some time since it rained, though, so they must’ve been there for days, untouched. The dog moved on, but the mark on the world remains.

I wonder if choosing those easier options are like that. I wonder if those things accumulate in the brain, layering, becoming all that you can see. I wonder how often it rains in there.

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