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Away

I saw a woman on the corner of State and Monroe. She was trying to throw her empty Starbucks cup into one of Chicago's solar powered trash compactor bins. They have handles that you have to pull down far enough toward yourself to throw the trash in and she was on her phone with her hands full of shopping bags. Normally I would assist someone in a circumstance like this, and that was my impulse. But then I thought, why help someone throw something away? She got the cup for convenience so I’ll observe her in a state of inconvenience. I watched as she tried three times to open the bin, dropped the cup once and made a "yuck" face when she finally succeeded in tossing the cup away from her. It was as if it hadn't contained a drink she had paid for and enjoyed only a few minutes earlier. I wondered if the difficulty of ridding herself of this object made her aware of it's materiality, or herself, or anything at all. Did hearing it hit the pavement and needing to shift …

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