This is a tale about a piece of bloody tissue and an apartment complex.

Three days ago I noticed a piece of bloody tissue in the second level hallway. I did not pick it up. First: gross. Second: biohazard. Third: we are still living in a pandemic (yes, I continue to keep count: it is day 513.) Hopefully the responsible party was taking the trash down and they’d recognize their own blood on the way back home.

Two days ago I left for a walk and was annoyed: the bloody tissue was still there! Any benefit of the doubt granted to my neighbor evaporated. The nerve!

“Surely the janitorial staff will rectify this issue,” I thought.

While wandering around the arid lawn I found a used needle. I picked it up with a leaf. Bent the needle back against a deciduous. Put it in the dumpster. Washed my hands.

Today I encountered the bloody tissue again… but it had migrated dangerously close to our domicile! A tumbleweed of shame. A now dire issue, but certainly not my responsibility.

And then it hit me: this is the type of world I let in my head.

I picked it up. Put it in the dumpster. Washed my hands.