Some weeks just are times when everything goes wrong….

This is a photo of a flat highway road in Texas that is pretty empty. There is little plant life and the sky is blue but also dusty, especially on the right side.

We can never see the road of life ahead of us. We think we can. Many of us (those who are fortunate) assume most of the time that there is smooth sailing ahead. Strange metaphor for a road, right?

If we knew what was to come — if we could foresee our futures — could we even carry on? Sure, there are good times.

But then there are times that are horrible.

Like when a loved one commits suicide.

Or a loved one suffers debilitating cancer pain and then dies after suffering from so-called “treatments” that are supposed to be helpful.

Or when a stupid decision is made and consequences hurt the decision-maker — and other people.

Or a family member, for inexplicable reasons, starts to shun the rest of the family.

Or a business struggles after diligent efforts to built its success.

So many bad times are out there.

For me — in this week that started out pleasant as I returned home from visiting one of my daughters — I returned to a New Mexico even more on fire than when I left. In certain parts of New Mexico, in fact, people have evacuated from their homes, with few possessions and their pets. Then their houses go up into flames. Other people still are on standby to evacuate. It’s not even summer yet!

I end up mid-week in the ER in excruciating pain (which was resolved) but then get really ill from the pain medication the doctor prescribed. So I lose 3 days of productive time, too nauseous to accomplish anything. I miss a Spanish class and get behind on writing. Exercising is postponed for several days.

Because of unexpected costs this month, including that ER care, my budget now is in serious trouble. (I know I’m lucky — I have a roof over my head, food, clothing, a car that runs, usually good health.)

5 days after my ER visit and 3 days after I stop the meds they gave me, I still feel queasy.

When I don’t feel well, I notice acutely how people around are more uptight in general. I made it to the store this morning (despite lingering nausea) and noticed plastic bags — which were banned in Albuquerque — are back in this store.

I ask the clerk, “Why are there plastic bags?,” as I place my cloth bags on the check-out area. Her: “They’re legal again.” Me: “No, the law hasn’t changed.” Her (with a gleeful wicked tone): “Yes it has, and we don’t even charge for the paper bags now.” Me: “That’s not good for the environment.” Her — well, she just saunters away. She can’t give a good response to my comment, I suppose.

I looked it up: Here’s what our local news station KRQE reported: Monday night, Albuquerque city councilors’ motion…. passed on a 6–3 vote. The city’s plastic bag ban will be lifted. Each committee and council meeting on this issue so far has seen an outpouring of public comment, overwhelmingly pleading with the council to keep the bag ban in place.

Why does our local government do this when the people as a whole want the bag ban? (I missed the story because I was sick and on a news black-out for several days.)

And, why so many curmudgeons? Maybe it’s due to inflation, the fact that Covid is not going away, and the cruelty of the war against the Ukrainians.

And, why doesn’t this gloating employee — and our city council — care about our climate disaster? When will we start calling it that instead of “climate change?” When will we all say “climate disaster?”

I hope, never.

I am about to visit family and friends elsewhere in the country, on the search perhaps for a new beginning. I should be hopeful looking down this road, assuming joy and hope and promise of a good future will fill me (and those I am with). But, for some reason, I have a bit of dread.

I think that’s because at the end of that long — dusty — road, I know some evil gremlins just wait for people like me to come along, and dash my hopes.

I also don’t want to have any more confrontations about plastic bags. They just shouldn’t even be legal. Period.

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Lindsay Waite

Lindsay Waite

retired lawyer, writer, part-time photographer, avid re-cycler