Broken Glass

birds, bird feeder, silhouette, early morningI pull on my Keen’s and yell to my guy, “I’m off to the post office and CVS.” The day is as glorious as a soft silhouette, so no car-choring for me. I’ll walk instead.

But as I stroll on the side road near our home that leads to a busier, 2-lane street, something glints in the middle of the narrow road. Bright, shiny sharp light found only from shards of glass.

No cars or people are near, so on a suspicion I walk some more, and sure enough, a broken brown bottle is strewn like dirty brown jewels all over the road. Nearby I see several flattened beer labels.

I grab my phone from my pocket and call my one-and-only. “I think you should call the police or public works,” I suggest. As I explain the problem, a car zooms by, traveling over the speed limit, ignoring my hands splayed out in the STOP position. The car’s tires crunch menacingly over the glass.broken glass

“No, I’ll take care of it,” my macho man answers. “I’ll be right there.”

As I stand in the middle of the road hoping to deter any more unsuspecting cars, I ignore my guy and call the police, quickly reporting the broken glass and worries of damaged tires. As the dispatcher replies, “I’ll write up a report,” I watch my 6 foot tall lean man stride down the street wearing his red, 30-year-old short-shorts and well-used t-shirt while holding a mean-looking weapon – a long-handled heavy broom.

He begins to sweep in bold brave strokes from one side of the street to the other, attempting to remove the glass from the blacktop.

Then a car approaches. Cautiously. It stops right beside my man. Oh! A cop. The officer unfolds himself out of his official SUV like a giant uncurling himself out of a too-small bottle. He keeps stretching out, torso as big as an elephant’s, legs larger than an aged oak tree trunk.

broom, sweeping, broken glass“Thank you so much for coming!” I gush. He blushes, not easy to discern in his dark skin, but I spy the radishes on his cheeks. He offers to take over the sweeping, but my guy holds firm to his broom, so Officer Giant controls the traffic.

Sweep Swoosh Sweep Swish. For 20 minutes my red-shorted man cleans up glass as methodically as a lab technician in a germ-free environment. I whisper to Giant Cop, “He’s an engineer. This could take a while.”

Finally, street safe, the sweeper and the uniformed giant shake hands, each one appraising the other and showing approval in their tight grips and satisfied smiles.New England fall, sunshine through the trees

Broken glass no more, and the day shines again as bright as those smiles.

118 thoughts on “Broken Glass

  1. Such good samaritans you both are. Or neighbors. Or both. Luckily only a harmless weapon was needed. Did your macho engineer mind that you called the cops for something he was handling efficiently?

    Always a good read at Roughwighting.


    Liked by 2 people

    • My engineer spent a number of years in “risk management,” so he understood the need for safety. In the States (and Europe too) everyone is so distracted and rushed; makes for a dangerous world, glass or not. I wonder if you find residents more thoughtful and easygoing in Vietnam?


    • I DO know what you mean, Darlene. I hesitated sharing this very ordinary (and maybe boring to some) story, but I’m always telling my writing students we need to WRITE ABOUT THE ORDINARY. God knows we don’t see this in the daily news. ;-0 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you know that tomorrow is Do Something Nice Day? It looks like you and your guy were early this year! I have a feeling that you two celebrate that day often. Thanks for bringing a smile to my face and heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hadn’t heard of “Do Something Nice Day,” Amy. I know I’m called a “Pollyanna,” but there is so much enjoyment in smiling at a stranger, cleaning up glass, helping a sick friend with groceries, etc. I think in the “olden days,” every day was “Do Something Nice Day.” Helped everyone survive tough conditions. Well, in different ways, we still live in tough conditions. ;-0 xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ohhh, thanks so much for the writing compliment. It’s interesting how difficult it can be to write about an ordinary event.
      You and I both know how teamwork makes a happy loving relationship. ❤


  3. Well done you two, putting right the wrong done by others. The world needs you. Something similar happened here a few weeks ago. Four of us were sitting outside a bar enjoying a beer on the roadside. Down the road a drunk guy dropped a half-full bottle of vodka. It smashed. In frustration he kicked the broken glass everywhere and staggered off. A couple of us borrowed a broom from our bar and went and swept it up. Our beer tasted all the better after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this, Roy! I don’t see this as an extraordinary act (cleaning up after a broken person – in your case as well as mine). It’s us “normal” ordinary people, loving our neighborhood and by extension our Earth and the people we share it with. Cheers to you, your friends, and THE BROOM! 🙂


  4. I always know I will be in for a great ride when I read your blog, Pam. Just the “Keen’s” already grabbed my attention. Comfort. Hiking. You are right about the hazards of broken glass. Not a good thing at all for many reasons. I am a happily married woman, although, I just fell “in like” with your macho man🙂 Great story. I was there with you every step of the way:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved reading this post, Pam! You make it sound so nice to go out walking and look at the day. Around our area, I’ve been finding nails in the road due to all the new housing. Yours sounds like a great guy. I have one too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. The good news is that I see a lot of that in the small New England “villages” that dot around Boston. And if we take care of our small towns, it leads to taking care of our cities and our country.


  6. Pam, you capture your guy and the police officer brilliantly, vividly portrayed and their so different but strong personalities shining through the mutual silent appreciation of each other. Great you all could help out! Btw what is/are Keen’s?I’m intrigued! 😀 hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes when we writers watch a “real time” scene unfold right in front of us, we can’t help but start thinking of the right words to use to describe the event asap. 🙂 Keens are a great walking shoe that can get wet (and even used walking in streams, etc.) and are comfortable and I wear when walking/hiking from spring to fall. And they come in great colors – mine are turquoise. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love a man who takes action, or “grabs a bull by the horns”. That was a nice report of team work and shared worry and care. I’m sure the car tires thank you. So many people are ignorant or ambivalent to situations like these, so… good for you and your red-shorted guy for being perfect civilians! And, for the talented story teller to share this tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose it’s easy to close the eyes to what’s right in front of us, but better to be activated in the world and keep our tires (and our hearts) strong and un-flattened. 🙂 Many thanks for your lovely comment, Liesbet. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a fun way to start my day. Love your descriptors of “my guy” — has he read this? I bet he’d be tickled at your perspective. 🙂 Thanks for taking care of your community–good vibrations travel forward, so you helped someone else have a better day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Kate, my guy read it after it was posted. He took umbrage to the description of his old red short shorts. “They can’t be more than TEN years old,” he exclaimed. Ah, how the years roll by fast. 🙂


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