10 January 2011

Paying it Backwards

I was 18 years old. My then-boyfriend picked me up in his old pickup and we went way out in the country to an old farmhouse where the party was at. It was winter and below freezing. I didn't know anyone and being anxious, and 18, I began to drink beer. During the course of the evening, my boyfriend began to smoke a joint; Me, more beer. And further into the evening, I became very aware of his interest in another woman, whom he had been engaged in conversation and smoking with most of the evening. More beer for me.

It was probably midnight when I decided I'd had enough of watching these two carry on. I left the farmhouse, passing his old truck and just for a minute, I thought smashing one of his windows would be a good idea. But, I didn't. I walked away from that farmhouse, and into a potato field. I walked across several fields, with my uber-cool red leather, belted jacket billowing open in the wind. I was too anesthetized to feel the cold. I had no plan; it was the middle of a dark and snowy, freezing night; and I was alone in a rural field.

I came upon a road and shortly after, the headlights of a vehicle shone behind me, illuminating the road around my shadow and the deep snow in the ditches. "Do you need a ride?" A kind young woman in the front seat of the car began to move over towards the male driver, to allow room for me to come in.

They asked me where I needed a ride to; it was about 20 miles away but they would safely get me there. " My step dad is going to kill me when I get home." They began to feed me several breath mints, to mask the smell of alcohol. The car was warm and their concern for me a lucky thing.

"STOP!" I yelled, when we were only four blocks from my home. Worry apparent on their faces over my outburst, they pulled over immediately.

"I have to pee."

I left the car and went around the corner for some privacy. I slipped my pants down and prepared to urinate in the snow bank. And that is all I remember about that.

I passed out in the snowbank, under a bright street light. The couple roused me, pulled my pants back up, dropped me off at my home and wished me well. The next morning, the now-ex-boyfriend called and asked, "Hey somebody smashed my truck window last night. Was that you?"

Fast forward 30-some years later; It is a dark, cold winter morning and it is snowing. I have to drive 36 miles into the city for work from my rural town. Traffic is already backed up in the next town over and moving slowly. I see a vehicle on the side of the road and, further up through the snow, the blurry silhouette of an adult and small child walking on the shoulder of the road. The car must have stalled and is anybody going to help these people?...Well, I guess I will.

A young woman, and her toddler, stuffed like a sausage in his little snowsuit, come up to the window. "Oh, can you give us a ride?" They gratefully hop in my warm van. She tells me she is pregnant and her cell phone broke and could she just get a ride up to the gas station? I let her use my cell phone to call her husband, drop her off at the gas station, and I am late for work.

But I felt really good about it.

The piece above is called, PEACE. It is mounted on Wedi board and composed of Tempered Glass, Polymer Clay, Saint Card, Altoid Tin, Origami Paper, tacks, mirrored tile and Lipstick-colored Grout. 10.5 x 7.25 ". $120.00

No comments:

Post a Comment