Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Nelson A. Smith is a freelance advertising writer and essayist living in Manhattan. His work has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, the Baffler, In These Times, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a cultural history of pigeons, from Genesis to Darwin to Skinner, tentatively titled “Lessons of an Organic Widget.”
Why not imagine that a beggar is a deity? Or that something you do will bring you luck? That some small object you bend down and pick up from the sidewalk will contain a mystery, a discovery — an old ship ticket, a rusty key, an address written on a scrap of paper?