12/4/07

art and taxi's

Things have been crazy busy in my little world. Tod, my room mate has been working like a fiend at the taxi place. Huge transitions have been hovering and are now descending upon our lives. He went from not working to practically taking over a small company! I think I lost my art buddy, my scrap hound and my photo tag-a-longer. I lost the go to gallery openings with me friend. I think back to when I moved in with him three years ago, I had yet to make anything more than a few mixed media rr plates in my studio apartment and when I moved in to this large home that we both care take for, I had a huge basement to work and store things in and we soon filled it up with scrap and just recently with tools and a growing collection of my work.

He wasn't working at the time, we don't get paid to care take since we get to live here for free, and last spring the funds and credit cards were tapped out and it was time for him to get a job. I think back on all the fun trips we took and how I always felt safe not being alone in creepy areas since he loved going with and just sitting while I took pictures. So now it feels like my turn to help him a bit. If I can. I had my first day yesterday, my second try at driving a taxi. I'm starting off just helping with picking up vehicles from the Burlington Airport and bringing them back to Stowe. That might happen once a week, I made $42 gross for my three and a half hour ordeal, I can buy some groceries with hard earned cash for a change. Last summer I tried one night to drive for the company and drove on the worst night possible weather wise, it was raining, foggy and pitch black (no highway lights or town lights in stowe)....I quit the next day between the weather and the babbling passenger pushing my panic button I couldn't deal with it.

Yesterday was no different, we had a hellacious storm and the 45 minute drive on the highway turned into almost two hours one way. I was at home, working on art and got the call from Tod. I would have been fine if he were the driver going with but instead it was a stranger. He talked the whole time. Didn't ask me any questions mind you, just spoke at me. I thought I would be okay but the roads were slippery and icy, people on the highway in front of us inching forward at 30 m.p.h. and sliding into ramps, none of it made me feel relaxed. I finally told the guy I have panic attacks and just need to be quiet for a little bit, I felt better when I could just go deep inside my mind and look out at the snow on the mountains. But he wouldn't be quiet and I felt my heart pounding out of my chest and that desperate feeling of going crazy and losing control of myself clung to me the whole way. There is nothing worse than being trapped feeling. Trapped in a vehicle with a stranger who is babbling. Trapped and knowing there is nothing you can do. It is a tiny hell.

But we made it. I didn't soil myself. I didn't hurl myself into the back of the van and scream and cry. No one dropped me off at the loony bin. I drove the taxi back and he was behind me in the passengers car. I made it. Tod came home and we were both up late talking about the business stuff. He will need lots of support getting things organized and running smoothly if he is going to take this on. It's crazy around here, everything is breaking in the house from phones, heaters, toilets, showers, garage openers, I just broke my miter saw....suddenly we are both running around with our heads cut off. I think my art is going to sit around a bit longer all alone. He helped me do stuff for my art so I think I owe him. I'm going to at least help get things computerized and do some drives if possible. If anything this is making me want to work even harder on art, I know without a doubt I do not want any other job than being an artist. I just don't have it in me to give to much else, when you look over your shoulder and see that your whole life was spent living for something else, someone else instead of whatever it is you are supposed to be doing, there is a feeling of remorse and disbelief. How can you live to be over 40 yrs old and never connect with who you are? I suppose I am glad that I finally connected with myself, some of you might think I am obstinate for not wanting to also work another job, even if I didn't have my stupid physical things going on I think I would feel the same. There is so much energy, excitement and fatigue wafting all about that I can't quiet my mind and do much of anything. I feel helpless and useless watching him working so much, phones ringing and things happening. I keep thinking if I need to work a little to make some dough at least this is better than standing in a building for eight hours under fluorescent lights making min. wage.

let it snow let it snow let it snow......
oh the weather outside is frightful
and the taxi isn't very delightful
but if you want to make art and live
drive a cab and try to ignore banal gab.....

6 comments:

Daphne said...

Part of the problem, I would imagine, about trying the taxi thing again is that you're doing it in the winter when it is so much harder to drive.

I find that I'm sweating and my shoulders are up near my ears when I drive through the ice and snow.

However, if it is going to be slightly different this time around, in terms of having to deal with too much small talk AND it helps Todd then hopefully you can pull it off. Plus cash for food is good.

I spent 34 years torturing myself trying to do everything but make art. I sense that you and I are not alone.

San said...

This time of the year it is so tempting to take stock of one's life and feel that it all falls so miserably short. I admire you driving the taxi. I have impossibly bad night vision and am always a little uneasy even driving the 30 minutes from the gallery to my home in the evening. One thing I like about summer here--business is better and the days are long enough that I seldom have to drive at night.

Come over and read about my claustrophobia in a sweat lodge. The way you talk about the trapped feeling in the taxi makes me think we have similar reactions to some things.

david mcmahon said...

Came here from San's site. I think your taxi efforts should be rewarded. Very brave indeed .....

Kim Hambric said...

Glad to hear you had success at your recent show.

I understand how you feel in that taxi in bad weather. I can't imagine having a babbler in with me. Its amazing how clueless others are. But the cash has got to be great (no matter how little). I have only two paid days a year when I work as an election official and get paid $85 for a 15 hour day. Love that money - hate that loooooong day of dealing with hundreds of other people.

Shelby said...

Beeeeeeeee careful. One day at a time.

Renee said...

I wouldn't be able to handle someone blabbering at me while I'm trying to focus on keeping us alive in such an icy mess - kudos to you for getting through it!