artful mess

It looked too well coordinated to be a simple mess; inside a busy Harvard Square ATM, trash was pouring out of every receptacle, and lining the walls save for a well-cleared path to the cash machines and doors. It could be just a neglected ATM, somehow left off the usual custodial rounds, but the trash was overwhelmingly comprised of uniformly half-crumpled ATM receipts. Sure, there was a food wrapper here or milkshake cup there, but it was mostly a sea of white, a foot or more deep in any direction.
It appeared more to be an art installation than community carelessness, and I wondered if there was a single hand behind it, or if the foot traffic to this ATM had collectively created the display, each individual gleefully tossing his or her receipt to the mess and feeling part of the whole.

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