Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Zig-Zag Run

22 x 29 cm
Found color photographs, graphite, a photo corner, found paper from a photo album

A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular.


It was about 1982, or maybe even 1983, (I was 12 or 13) my best friend J.H.* and I were in her mother's boyfriend, L.'s truck on the way to Rusty's Pizza Parlor on Milpas Street to pick up some pizza. We were really close to Rusty's, and as we were stopped at a stoplight L.'s truck jolted forward - someone had rammed us from behind. L. screams, 'It's C. (his wife)!'. J.H. and I looked at each other in a panic, suddenly it felt like we were in a movie.
His English wasn't that good (he is Mexican) and he said, 'OK hijos (boys) we go near Rusty's, I drop you off at the corner and then I try to loose her.' We nodded breathlessly and scared beyond belief. L. handed J.H. a wad of money and pulled over to the side of the road. As we were jumping out of the car J.H. screamed at me, 'We have to run in a zig-zag in case she has a gun and tries to shoot at us'. It made perfect sense. We started running in a zig-zag to the front door of Rusty's. We made it inside, hyperventilating, feeling really relieved to have escaped all of the flying bullets that we didn't see or hear except for those in our head.
As we were waiting in line to pick up our order, a man tapped J.H. on the shoulder and said 'I think you dropped something'. J.H. looked down and saw a $100 bill on the ground, the money L. had given her for the pizza. She grabbed it.
We finally got the pizza and L. was waiting for us out in the parking lot. We ran to the truck and he told us he had lost her. We felt so lucky to have made it out alive.

(* J.H. is the same person who taught me how to drive. See this *38*.)


Sol said...

April, your stories are great. You should write a book.. something like a female John Fante.

avg said...

sol -
thank you for this very kind comment!
extremely flattering! x