June 2023: When I was hired at The Atlantic in 2015, my editor told me that my writing was impressive and I was certainly a bright young man. But what had sold him, he confessed, was this blog post. It showed I knew how to have fun.
Last month, someone dropped a crumpled Kleenex in the stairwell of my girlfriend’s apartment building. No one — myself included — wanted to pick it up. It sat there for weeks, a miniature rebuke to all of us.
Yes, I could have just cleaned it up. But what happened next was more fun — and gave me a new respect for my neighbors.
I bought a set of Bachmann Trains miniature police officers and set up a perimeter around the tissue, securing them to the floor with double-sided tape.
No, the patrol officers aren’t wearing Pittsburgh uniforms — but the white-shirted lieutenant would fit in!
I figured I’d leave it up for a day or two and then clean the whole mess up. But the next day… this showed up.
The text: “Clouds fall from the sky/No one wants to notice them/Art makes us all smile. ” What an awesome neighbor!
I left behind a thank you…
The next day, got one final message back:
Sometimes it pays to sit back and see where things go.