Mind Orts from Marj #9: Could Right Just Be Too Far?

By Guest Contributor June 23, 2016 11:11

Could Right Just Be Too Far?

By Marj Stuart

I hate to admit that I’m leaning more and more
to the right as I age. It has nothing to do with my state of
mind – I’m not talking about Donald Trump’s right here.
I think the problem is that I’m losing my perception of
which way is up.

For example, I can’t tell if I’m sitting upright even
when I’m only six inches from the mirror while getting my
hair cut. The hairdresser keeps nudging my left shoulder
down so she can trim that side of my head.

What’s right and what’s not comes up in some
form every day.  With stray hairs brushed from my neck,
I try to level my shoulders, but as soon as I shift my
attention, I slump back to the right. I shrug and walk to
my car. The next errand on my list is renewing our burn
permit. It’s one of those things city folks don’t need to
bother with, since lighting a cigarette is the only legal
action with a match you can take within city limits.

My lack of direction is growing by leaps and
bounds. This morning my husband carefully explained
how to find the Cal Fire office which issues burn permits.
Just stay to the right and you can’t go wrong, he
concluded.  I turn right off the highway and follow
twisting narrow pavement to the top of a hill where it’s
blocked by a gate with a Beware of the Dog sign.

Obviously I have taken the wrong right. My only
choice is to back down the road, flanked closely on the
left by a high metal fence and on the right by a sheer
drop-off. Backing down has never been my forte. I lift
my foot from the brake just enough to roll back 10 feet,
shift and move forward five to straighten my wheels,
shift again and roll back another 10 feet before
reapplying the brake, then spend two minutes assuring
myself that I can really do this.

When I finally get back to where I started, I notice
a road on the other side of the fence that also could be
construed as turning right from the highway. I wipe the
sweat from my upper lip and turn onto this new road. At
the top of the hill is a parking lot and people standing
around just outside the court-mandated nonsmoking
area at a building entrance, discretely holding
smoldering cigarettes at their sides.

The man behind the counter inside is friendly,
pointing out that the new permit is good for three years
– what a relief, I will probably never have to do this
again – and that the rules for how and when I can burn
on my own property are still the same.

All the way home I ponder the possibility of there
being such a thing as too far right, metaphorically
speaking, that is.

By Guest Contributor June 23, 2016 11:11
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