There are in fact falls that pour through the center of our quaint little town, the torrent made from the tears of a million unfulfilled housewives.
Be that as it may, its lovely, the Chagrin River, flowing with grace through several counties, until in dumps finally into lake Erie. In downtown Chagrin it makes a dramatic descent, crashing down between The Popcorn Shop and Starbucks to the delight of residents and tourists alike who congregate on warm summer evenings to gawk and stroll, talk and eat ice cream by its sonorous cascade.
We were those gawkers last night. My family and I got our requisite ice cream cones and went to watch the river do its thing. By the banks of this town's most beloved feature, you will find a thoughtfully constructed set of wooden stairs, with several well-positioned landings and built-in benches, that descend from street level to the base of the falls, so that one might pleasantly dawdle and enjoy the scenery. The stairs are steep, the view dramatic, and there's no way not to love it.
Last night it was crowded, it being the first truly hot evening of the entire summer. Couples, families, and many, many sweet-natured dogs were out in force. My kids stroked with sticky fingers, every single dog on the way down, so a 45 second trip became a 35 minute reconnaissance - all part of the pleasure.
Most of the way down, at perhaps the best vantage point, I see a gormless teen hurl his unfinished ice cream cone, with wrapper, into the ivy. It was a flash, and I wasn't sure, maybe it was just a glob of unruly ice-cream and though gross, impermanent in its assault on nature. His mother was facing him and said nothing. No sooner had this action registered, but the dickhead teen turns around a chucks his overlarge wad of napkins onto the manicured hedgerow. Its difficult to explain without boring you, how the wad was perfectly below eye-level, like it had been laid on a platter, a perfect, plated fuck you, so that no one viewing the falls would be able not to see it. But there it was, a bleached white ball on a stage of green, and his mother said nothing.
It really got my Indian braids in a twist. So I grab the wad from the shrubs and from behind and below, shove it back into his hand. I startle him, and at first he thinks I'm handing him some napkins as a gesture of friendship, but quickly realizes its a crazy woman handing him his own nasty gob of sticky paper.
He says, "Thanks...er...HEY! I just threw that there" and he points to the hedge like I should recognize that he'd already disposed of his crap, couldn't I see that? To which I reply, "Yes, I watched you do it. That's yours and there's a trash can right there...RIGHT THERE!"
There are moments when I can actually feel my pupils dilate and its possible something might have flown from my body, spittle or something toxic, or some kind of threatening aroma, because let me tell you something, that little fucktard marched that wad the three fucking steps to the trash can in quite a hurry. His mother watched without expression or frankly comprehension.
In closing I will say, I'm starting to get it. I'm beginning to regretfully understand how broken people do this. They see something nice, something naturally beautiful, or made with love, and their brokenness compels them to leave their mark of anger and hurt on it. It cannot be left alone, because to do so would be to admit and succumb to, beauty itself. I am starting to see the formula of the damaged soul that lashes out at the resplendent.