March 3rd, 2005


Found Objects

I frequently write about my daily trip up on the mesa. The mesa is a volcanic plateau that starts right in back of my house. It rises approximately 50' up and is quite flat on the top. There will probably be a sea of houses there in about 10 years, but for now it is a nice wide open area where I can get exercise and Anubis can mark lots of territory. Since it is a big wild area on the edge of an urban area it also attracts a lot of people who want to conduct activities where they will be out of sight. I have seen people smoking dope/crack, and I have interrupted people having sex. Mostly I just see the aftermath. Since I am up there every day I tend to notice anything new, no matter how small the detail. I recognize new beer cans. I can spot the used condom that wasn't there the day before.

Another illegal activity that I notice is the dumping of trash. People come up there to dump their waste to avoid dump fees. Usually it's yard waste which isn't so bad because it will break down. The ones that piss me off are the ones that dump old appliances. The worst are the ones which dump household waste. Fortunately there are not many of those.

In the 6 years I have been walking up on the mesa I have found things like a box from a penis pump, a small stack of pr0n, the lamp of love, old phone books, boxes of campaign literature, and a dead dog. The dog was really awful. It sat there for a few days until the coyotes found it. I almost lost my lunch at the sight of a half-eaten corpse. I'm still waiting for the day when I'll find a human dumped up there.

On Monday I took my walk well after sunset due to meetings which ran long. I stumbled across a big pile of stuff which had been dumped right in the middle of a road I usually walk down. It was too dark to see what it was. On Tuesday I got to the place right at sunset so I was able to see what had been dumped. It was a few boxes of stuff but it didn't look like garbage. I pawed through it even more yesterday and if I had to make a guess there was probably a domestic dispute between 2 people and the husband/boyfriend threw out a bunch of stuff of his wife/girlfriend. There were lots of clothes and shoes. I also found a few pictures, mostly of a young girl. I laughed when I read a letter written by a man in prison to his girl. He asks several times in the letter that she be faithful. At the end there was a p.s. of "Please don't sleep around, baby." I scored when I found a container full of change. Someone must have threw this stuff away in a hurry to throw away money. I also snagged a copy of Cat Stevens Greatest Hits.

I have tried to put together the story of what happened. While there is a considerable amount of stuff, it certainly would not be a person's life's possessions. There were a few baby items in the pile. Was it a domestic dispute? Was there foul play involved? Was it just someone throwing away a bunch of stuff that had accumulated and not caring what was in the boxes? That's the interesting thing about found objects. What was the story behind the stuff?
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