Tuesday, December 16, 2008

17th of December, Part 1

I am afraid. Yet the date comes and goes and I drive the same road several times a year. I persevere.

Some part of you is going to read this, sickly fascinated by what happened, because it's something that draws everyone. It's what makes us slow down to see what happened and be thankful it wasn't us.

And some part of you may have no desire whatsoever to hear read about a twisted, mangled pain that may have healed to the best of healing ability in the physical manner - but still aches as a reminder.


December 17, 1997.

A Wednesday. Cold enough for Winter in Texas, but not as bad as the sudden 10 inches of snow we would get a year later.

I wanted to be an actress. I'd wanted to be one for years. I did the community theatre, the high school shows, the after school children's productions. I did the modeling and training, the late night rehearsals of Shakespeare and musicals. I wanted Broadway, but being practical about my chances as an actress as I was about college, I didn't go.

A friend wanted New York, too. We decided on Austin as a stepping stone to get to NY eventually. Austin from Odessa was a huge step. We decided to move in the Spring, after the holidays with our families.

I like a plan. Whether I stick to it or not, I like having some sort of framework to go with.

We had a plan now. So when I saw an audition ad for "Angels in America" by Tony Kushner at an Austin theatre, meant to be performed a few months later, I decided this was a shot! A chance to audition for a show and move to a big city and see what I could prove!

So I figured it out. My day job at the time was as a graphic operator or sound tech for the local morning news show. Sometimes commercial stuff like helping to dub or make the phone number go across the screen. This Wednesday I would get off work around 11am. I left and headed out toward Austin, taking Brady and Llano across - a road I'd driven a few times before. I remember stopping to pickup a few things as Christmas gifts for my family. A couple of puzzles for my younger brothers, coloring books for cousins. I'm not sure anymore really.

I remember I had time to grab a sandwich and find the theatre. I remember sitting in the hallway going over the lines before the audition. I remember I wore my best blue t-shirt and a blue denim jacket with my best blue jeans. I guess I probably had tennis shoes on... oh, that's right, I did. White Keds. I remember thinking I did pretty good, but I was nervous, so I knew it wasn't a 'knocked their socks off great' audition. But I wanted that role. I wanted this show to be a sign I should move to Austin.

The drive home

Yes, it was dark, but I didn't think it's be a problem. I'd borrowed my dad's cell phone (because at the time only busy business-type people had one, really), so I was going to call my parents when I got to San Angelo just to let them know I was about two hours out. I also didn't want to use the roaming minutes and San Angelo was close enough it wouldn't.

Good. A plan.

It didn't happen like that. My parents got a call several hours later from either the hospital or the officer, I don't know, to let them know their daughter was in a car accident.

...to be continued...


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