Saturday, March 21, 2009

Empty Boxes

I'm trying to remember that change is good and all, and the collective reading public is adapting as any vibrant living organism can be expected to do, but this image still made me a little sad.

It got me thinking about all the sensory details of newspaper boxes. Lots of people cherish the sound of the paper hitting the driveway; for me the bright-painted metal boxes, once outside every grocery and diner, are far more evocative.

Think about how it felt to drop coins in the slot. How your heart would do a little happy blip to see those neatly folded (neatly folded - isn't that a gorgeous phrase?) papers in stacks. How, if the top one was mutilated in any way, even just a little crease across the headline or a tear in the corner, you'd go for the next one down. It was, after all, your hard-earned quarter you were spending, and you felt somehow ennobled by entered into this honor-system moment of commerce.

They owed you a pristine paper. You owed them a certain reverence for the process. You'd never, ever, cheat and take two papers, even if in later years you once discovered an un-paid-for carton of Diet Coke in the bottom of your shopping cart at Target and loaded it into the trunk anyway.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

We will only have home deliver three days a week here now but no jobs were lost. Thank God for small things.