As cars whizzed by the on highway, Ralph McGubbin could have been staring at the thousand sparkling motes of light reflected on bits of broken bottles on the side of the road and imaging them as the stars in the sky or thousands of flash bulbs popping at a Hollywood gala or even the sparkle in the eye of a beautiful woman. But he wasn't, because he couldn't, and that was among the reasons he was standing on the side of the road in a day-glo vest collecting garbage. He'd never had much imagination, or any desire beyond what his heart desired at this very moment. Worst of all, what he wanted, he grabbed, like an infant.
There were six other Ralph McGubbin's on the side of the road taking a half-hearted stab at telling society they were sorry (they weren't), as well as a Bob Trout. Bob was able to see those bits of bottle as a galaxy of lights, and the juxtoposition of Shelia Frank against those glinting lights and the mauve mountains beyond struck him as especially lovely. Sheila was, in his opinion, too pretty to be collecting garbage on the side of the road, despite what she had done to that unlucky pedestrian, and as he mechanically picked up discarded cans and hamburger wrappers, he plotted his next move.