Friday, November 18, 2016

The Trash Lady

No surprise that post-election, I am distraught. No further surprise that living in my own skin right now causes me a great deal of discomfort. I have gone near cold turkey on my news consumption, looking only at the post-election news as it relates to protesters and their shadowy anarchist tagalongs wreaking havoc at work. I don't click news links posted by friends to learn the latest outrage wrought by the pussy-grabbing-elect troll we have elected king.

***

Wednesday mornings is trash day in my neighborhood. My neighbor to the left is a 30-year-old husband and wife team who have a 2-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. My neighbor across the street is a 65-year-old woman forced back to full-time work due to economic pressures and the suicide of her husband about 18 months ago. The folks next door to her are a 70-year-old woman and her stroke-addled husband who now has full-blown dementia.

About a year or so ago, daytime home burglaries ramped up in our area. Brazen break-ins as fuckers from out of town -- yes, from out of town, thank you -- case our peaceful, largely inner-focused homes and decide which one looks like an easy target with a backdoor sliding glass door, hidden from view, easily smashed with a well thrown rock. In under 5 minutes, they take whatever they can quickly grab -- laptops, tablets, game systems, jewelry -- and off they go.

On Wednesday mornings, I take in my trash can and recycle can after they're emptied about 8 a.m. And then I take in those two cans for those three neighbors. And around noon on Wednesdays, after the yard trash has been picked up, I put away my own green bins and those of my three neighbors. Corrie the wonder mutt keeps me company. More often than not, the mother next door is home as is the woman with the ailing husband across the street.

***

As Youngest tries out for high school soccer, I join Pete walking the track to get in my 13,000 steps per day. I rant about the hopelessness I feel. I have spent the days since the election feeling futile in my efforts to make a difference. What can I possibly do to have an impact? There's nothing I can do to change the world. There really isn't. And there's nothing I can do to change my country. Hell, change I've tried to affect in the fucking local school district is clearly for naught.

My efforts do not matter. I cannot stop the waves of hatred and the bitter truth that people truly do not give a flying fuck about the welfare of others as long as they're doing fine.

Utter hopelessness.

That bitter Wednesday after the election, I brought in all the cans on my street. Two days ago, I did it again. And I will keep doing it, as long as I am able. I cannot change much, but I can change my own street.

That'll have to be a start.



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