We take a limited number of routes, and only one of them could qualify as scenic. There is a dog park ten minutes away, and within a mile radius there are too many construction sites to keep track of. We live in a ‘transitional neighborhood’ in New York – Long Island City, the one Amazon snubbed after the local community demanded that its representatives stop kissing up to Jeff Bezos.
During one of our identical, unrepeatable walks, I began taking note of the miscellaneous oddities strewn about the pavement at the dog’s eye level. It became a habit. Candy wrappers, cigarettes, alcohol nips, work gloves. Plastic bags, newspapers, discarded appliances, dog waste, sanitary gloves. In cold weather, the occasional winter glove, lost. Paired or solo, gloves kept appearing.
From then on, there has yet to be a day I haven’t had multiple sightings of these stand-ins for the distracted train riders leaving them behind, the harried pedestrians dropping them, or the workers tossing them out when they are done for the day. These are people hired to service and build amenity laden condominiums in the gentrifying neighborhoods they themselves are being pushed out of, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens.
Eerily animated, it’s as if the gloves persist in their attempt to express something that can’t be reduced to words, something untranslatable. Let’s call it absence, or avoidance of contact. For those who care to look down, and away from their devices, they act as an interface with the other side.