The past few weeks have been full of struggles. And minor catastrophes. And a couple major catastrophes. And setbacks. Oh Lordy, how there have been setbacks. Indeed, by any objective measure, this has been the most backsetting month of my life, with no end in sight. It has gotten to the point where after every soul-crushing setback, I wait for the other shoe to drop, which it invariably does, repeatedly, again and again and on and on, as if I'm being trod upon by a dancing 8-legged OctoGiant. Times are tough, as they say.
I won't bore you with all the gory details of the problems afflicting my normally idyllic existence, which are legion. Instead, it occurred to me today, while I was climbing through the backseat of my Nissan to manually unlatch the trunk from the inside so I could change the tire that had flattened after I ran over a piece of stray brick from my idiot neighbor's overflowing shed of garbage, that I have a simple, easily solvable case of Bad Karma, and, as such, need to find the source of the bad karma and address it. I have been racking my brain all evening in search of the origin of the malaise, my unforgivable sin that spawned a thousand tears. And while it may be simply a side effect from the mild concussion I suffered after I was able to unlatch the trunk only to not push the trunk door up far enough for the pneumatic device to catch and hold it causing it to fall back down upon my then extended head, but I think I've found the offending action.
Three weeks ago, on July 21, I was at CVS with very limited cash on hand buying some necessary supplies when the associate pointed out that they were running a charity to buy and send sunglasses to soldiers in Iraq. I politely declined to participate and silently went all Ebenezer Scrooge on the concept in my head. "I'm sorry, but did we suddenly slash our defense budget so much that the military is relying on me to pay an extra dollar for the cheapest possible sunglasses on top of the massive tax money they already receive? And even so, soldiers are compensated fairly, so shouldn't my charity dollars go to people who have little or nothing or lack the ability to provide for themselves? And also, soldiers chose to go to Iraq. Shouldn't they be prepared to deal with the sun?" I left the store feeling absolutely no guilt or remorse about the affair, forgetting that I had once decided as a rule to never refuse help when it was asked of me and I was able to pitch in.
What I didn't realize is that somewhere in Iraq, a soldier who sends most of his money home to provide for his sickly mother, his pregnant wife, and his adorable two year old was unable to purchase sunglasses from the PX and, while patrolling the desert, eyes dried and scratching from the sand and the heat, shook his fist at the sky and cursed the man responsible for his unfortunate situation.
And so tomorrow, between tire repairs and work, I must venture forth on a noble quest to win a stay from the onslaught of karmic retribution coming my way. If CVS is no longer participating in the charity, I have no idea how to make amends. If the three seasons of My Name is Earl I watched are any indication, wacky hijinx and unforeseen complications will arise. But I remain resolute. Sunglasses for the masses, says I.