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This is what I saw today when I got home. I had to go back to my apartment for my camera.
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A voice piped: "She's taking a picture!" I alleviated all worry and trepidation: "Don't worry, you're not in trouble, I'm just curious."

From what I had overheard, the piping voices were telling a story in their joyful play. They were discovering treasure, "good stuff" in the dumpster outside my apartment building. Since the recent fire, people have been moving out all too often, apparently to the benefit of some.

"This guy threw a bunch of stuff out today, and it's all good," they said.

"Like what?"

They had all kinds of clothes, pots and pans, canned goods. Broken glasses littered the ground, and a bag of flour had experienced a moderate explosion, powdering a nearby abandoned car. The good stuff included a few official toys:

the little ones with their treasures )

But the most entertainment came from leftover groceries. With the discovery of a can opener, trash turned into ultimate mudpies:

the big kids cooked up a storm! )

Although the story went mostly untold, a few phrases hinted that these kids have a story already. As I walked up, they asked me, with the point-blank sincerity that only children have, whether or not I had a job. I knew right then that I was an adult. I was embarrased to answer with 100% honesty. I said, "Sorta." Which is true, but not quite.

I chatted with the kids, listening to their meandering prattle, showing them the photos I took on each squeaking demand. The one photo I most wanted I couldn't get: the two small ones looking at the pics still on the camera.

More thoughts here, but after an hour of relative writer's block, it's bedtime.

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jocelyncee

April 2009

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