On the north east corner of 35th street and sixth avenue, lies an empty Chicken Nuggets Box. It has just recently been dropped, it seems. People are walking by and around, taking care not to step on it. A heavyset man in a baseball cap is the first one to step directly on it and keep moving. After that a domino effect kicks in and the box is stepped on and kicked. A small Asian man, a little kid in a hoodie, a woman on her phone.
We’re almost at 36th street now. A blonde woman in a business suit kicks the box across the sidewalk next to a line of people waiting for the bus. It looks like the box is just waiting for the bus like everyone else. As if the bus will come and the Chicken Nuggets Box will get on after the old lady in front of him and swipe his metro card and ride the bus back home to his family of Chicken Nuggets Boxes. His mother will clean him up and bathe him and scrub all the shoe filth off of him and pop his corners back up until he looks fresh and good as new. She’ll tuck him into bed and tell him she loves him and that tomorrow will be a better and brighter day. She’ll kiss him and close the lights and the Chicken Nuggets Box will forget that he spent twenty minutes of the day getting kicked around by people.
But the bus comes and goes with everyone getting on and the Chicken Nuggets Box stays on the ground alone. He gets kicked again. He’ll keep getting kicked until a good samaritan picks him up and puts him in the garbage, where maybe he’ll meet some friends he’s made along the way; the other misfits who have lived up their purpose and have been disposed of and discarded. He’s now flat and crumpled on the edge of the sidewalk, on the margins of society. No one even cares enough about him to kick him. He’s just ignored. And that’s the worst. That’s the opposite of love. Me? I’d rather be kicked.