Yesterday, while walking to brunch, I bemoaned the loss of some chopped trunk trees at the all-too-familiar Inman construction site. Like it was fucking "Fern Gully," I immediately felt the dual pain of loss and of being eviscerated at the waist - surely the pain the pines had felt at the moment of their demise.
But lest you think me lofty, or an "environmentalist", or - worse - someone who actually gives a damn enough to take a stand, let me assure you of my banal sociopolitical malaise by demonstrating that my personifying empathies reach far beyond just social causes to places like...Target.
When buying a face wash, blouse, or hair dye, I always - and I wish I were lying - feel a pang of guilt and remorse for the Noxzema, Isaac Mizrahi, or Cinnamon Apple option not chosen. As if it were the kid not picked for kickball, I give each still-shelved product a sad eye, a knowing nod. A feeble acknowledgement that I KNOW I hurt its feelings, and I'm sorry.
Maybe next time, my eyes say. Maybe if I had more expandable income, my nod placates.
But I know as I exit the store that the damage I've done is irreversible. That there are tears in the isle, poisoned memories in the heart, and holes in the souls (and soles) of those products not chosen.
Like Little Orphan(t) Annie and her ilk, the discards of my human life - and the lives of those who saw the trees to make room for the shopping malls that will house those items I pass over - wait, hopefully, for one among us to "pick" them, to deem them "worthy."
Someone to call them their baby. Maybe.