Tonight, after work, I walked out of my building into the dusk pulling my mother's grey-blue suede jacket close around me to keep out the chill. It had been a long day in the office and I was tired. I hiked out to the end of the last row in the parking lot and sank into my car. I threw my bag on the seat next to a bag of juicy mandarin oranges that I had picked up at a roadside stand, after my morning meeting, at one of our hospitals located in a farming community.
I turned the radio to NPR so I could catch the news and the latest status of the shootings in San Bernardino. As I drove east, with a brilliant sunset in my rearview mirror, I listened to reporters re-hash the story while they waited for a briefing by the San Bernardino law enforcement agencies. I was so intent on the story, that I blew right past my exit for the country road that leads home.
The next exit was 10 miles further up the freeway. As I climbed higher into the Sierras, I scanned the exits looking for one to take me home. Finally, the exit for Pollack Pines appeared and I steered my little car down the off-ramp. The road didn't look familiar; I wanted to head to to the lake and then drop down from there into our valley. But this was a narrow, dark, winding road with houses set back from the street here and there. I thought about stopping and turning on my GPS but I didn't want to stop listening to the news. Finally, I pulled over and fished my phone out of my bag. I was, fortunately, headed in the right direction. A half-mile further on, I turned toward the lake and then started dropping down towards home.
A small doe appeared on the side of the road. I watched her and, sure enough, she decided to make a dash for the other side as I approached. I slammed on the brakes; she looked at the car and put on her brakes as well. I stopped with her nose touching the driver-side door. I took a deep breath and kept going.
I was almost an hour late getting home. I was too distracted to cook. We ordered pizza at the corner pizza place and Brett went to pick it up while I changed and lit a fire in the wood stove. He called and said that they had burnt our pizza and were making us a new one, so he'd be a bit later getting home back home.
I think everyone was distracted tonight. Paris, Mali, the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, the Russian passenger plane, not to mention the ongoing terrorism in Syria, the Middle East, Africa, and now this... it's just too much hate to comprehend.