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Reflections on poop in the snow…

Warning: If crap offends you, or if you yourself don’t poop, this is NOT the post for you.

It’s winter. It’s cold. We’re under 17 inches of snow. It looks pretty… for about five minutes.

I walk the dude. He poops. I scoop. Well, I have to remove my glove to extract the bag and warm up my fingers to open it up and then fit it onto my hand for the requisite scooping. It’s not fun. My fingers are frozen before I even open the bag. Gangrene practically sets in. I can hardly get the bag open. I unleash a few therapeutic expletives. But at least the poop is warm. And – the poop is done! (He constipates ME if he fails to poop! But don’t worry, this isn’t about my bowels!).

Back to dogshit. The whole ritual takes about a minute, and the glove is back on, with all my fingers intact.

Our dirtycity snowpiles are littered with poop. UN-scooped poop. Is there something about snow that makes it ok, I’m wondering? I’m not sure I get it. Because actually, it’s not ok.

Is it the hassle of opening the bag? Surely. Or the idea that poop piles can be readily concealed in snow? Perhaps.

When the snow melts (it will!) and spring comes (it always does – thank goddess for that!), we’ll have poop-stained sidewalks. Frozen poop-blocks that will bake slowly in the soft spring sun.

So why do we NOT scoop in the snow? Is that the stuff we do when we think we can hide it? When we think no one is looking?

It’s about integrity, right?

It’s about how we care for ourselves and each other and our shared space. A space that – even as we stand masked, six feet apart – we still do share. Is it that we’ve deteriorated, not caring about each other in the ways that we used to?

I see you, snow-pooper. You’re as fed up as I am. We don’t look at each other. We don’t smile anymore. Or maybe we do – it’s hard to tell. It’s been almost a year of expression-guesswork and are-they-smiling-behind-that-mask? I haven’t seen other people’s teeth in ages. I try to make eye contact. Sometimes it feels intrusive.

We look down when we walk. More than before, I think. (That’s how I see the poop.)

But there’s going to be a day, soon, -ish, when we walk with heads up and masks off and smiles on and faces lifted to the sun. I need to believe that day is coming. In this eventual-spring, this grand (re)awakening, I’ll be out there walking forward, looking up, smile on, teeth exposed, lungs filled to capacity… I don’t want to feel that poop-squish under my shoe.

So I’m going to keep scooping because I believe in a better future. Even if today still feels sorta like… shit.

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