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"Yeah, Mom," I respond, "I was just having a bad dream. I'll be down in about half an hour for breakfast."

I jump out of bed and go into my bathroom. I splash cold water on my face and then look up into the mirror. I suddenly realize what I have to. I rush out of my bathroom and put on my faded blue jeans, my UCLA sweatshirt and my battered old tennis shoes. I start to leave the room when I turn back. I go back into the bathroom and reach underneath the sink. I pull out a big handful of garbage bags, then leave the room. I rush down the stairs so fast that I nearly trip over my good tennis shoes. I sit down just long enough to tie the shoes that are on my feet and take the other shoes to the bottom of the stairs where I leave them for later.

"I'm going to be outside for a little bit, Mom. Call me when breakfast is ready," I yell on my way out the door. I race over to the river that is next to our house. I look around to find that I was right. I see the river's glorious edges flooded with trash. I stand there for a minute shaking my head.

"Work time," I say to myself. I pick up as much of the trash as I can. By the time I finish, it is past noon. the river is flowing again, babbling as if to say "Thank you, I needed that."


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