There’s a collection of locks on the chain link fence over a bridge in Boston. We passed by, on our way to the T, and even though we had a place to be, and people to call, I had to pause, just a moment, to appreciate the sight. Some of the locks are old ad rusted, some are new and shining. There are plain cold metal ones, and ones that are bright purple or green or heart shaped. Most of them are clumped together, so when looked at from the right angle and distance they look like rigid, shimmering fish scales, while others float to the side, or hang above, the old owners tall or clever enough to get them up above the rest.
I don’t know why these are here, if there’s a general purpose or if every single person just left a lock for different reasons. Out of boredom, because they were sad, because something had made them angry, or because the sight stunned them for a moment and they wanted to be a piece of it. Or maybe they wanted to ditch a lock they didn’t need, and this seemed like the place to do it.
All those little chunks of metal together, either forming garbage, or something beautiful, depending on your point of view.