Life churns on. Another school shooting, a 6 year-old boy fighting for his life in the hospital after a teenager had access to a gun he shouldn’t have access to.
The election season churns. I grow more and more disgusted with the hatred, racism, bigotry, violence and divisiveness in our country. Selfish people whose only view of life is to step on the back of someone else’s neck while reaching for the only apple on the tree, which they refuse to share, and then calling the person on the ground stupid for not getting it themselves.
The kid and I were in a car accident last weekend. He is fine. The car can easily be repaired. I am in wait-and-see mode on some of my physical problems but am hoping for an eventual “I’m fine too.” I have gotten, since the police report became public, FORTY-SEVEN solicitous phone calls, three texts and 12 pieces of mail from sharks looking to help me gouge the other party’s insurance company out of millions of dollars from having a fender bender. The harassment is beyond annoying. The dangling of dollar signs in front of me makes me sick. I want, and will get, compensation for damages done to myself and my person, missed time from work for related appointments, a new car seat for the kid since his is no longer viable, but I am not looking to get an early retirement or a boat off of someone just because they rammed into the back of me.
Where is the heart? It becomes very hard to see. And my own circumstances, always challenging, can make it harder. I entered a raffle at the kid’s school for a new car, since mine is on the verge of completely giving up the ghost with some major problem I cannot afford to repair – and I’m ignoring the ones it already has (exhaust, A/C, headliner mold).
I wrestle with how much to tell my son of what is on the news. I don’t want him to be completely unaware of life’s happenings, but there is only so much burden a 7-year-old should have to shoulder. We have talked of the election. I have shown him clips of the two candidates. (“He never stops talking! Why does he interrupt her constantly!”) I will take him to the polls with me for the first time, ever, in hopes he will remember the experience, and hopefully, the historic outcome.
But school shootings, honestly I still haven’t told him about any of them. I know they drill at school – for tornados, for fire, for “intruders,” but I don’t think they’ve said exactly what could happen, as who wants to scare little kids like that? And what good would it do? Nothing might ever happen at his school, but then I take him to the movies or the mall after school and we could get shot there. Or at a restaurant. Or in our hotel room on a trip somewhere. The unfettered access to guns, combined with rabid, backwards, Archie Bunker racism and bigotry has left such a bad taste in my mouth, I just want to scoop up my child and run far, far away. Maybe I could live on the water somewhere, running a taco stand or renting paddle boats to tourists or something. I just am so tired, I don’t want to do this anymore, in this place, with these people around every corner.
I need to run. And cannot, because I may have screwed up my back in the accident. I can’t numb myself with alcohol as my sinus infection persists for over a month now, and I’m on a second round of antibiotics to try to finally get rid of it. And so I just keep going, churning on, wanting to move forward, but running to stand still.