Sometime last year, the axle on my car broke, yes, the axle broke. The night before I was on my way home from the airport returning from a heartbreaking trip to Los Angeles, (which is a story for another time) when my car spun 360 degrees on 6th ave in remarkable similarity to a re-occurring nightmare I have had since high school. Anyways, the axle broke, just a couple blocks from the school I was supposed to be teaching at that very moment.
I called a tow truck, ran up to the school to explain my situation, when I returned the truck was there. The driver loaded my car and I climbed into the cab of the truck. It was a long ride, from Airport Blvd. to my studio near Federal, a good 45-minute ride. So as is my nature I switched into interview mode. The driver was Ethiopian; he had left his country because of political unrest and had lived in New Jersey, Italy, London, Boston, and Las Vegas before coming to Denver.
This man really believed in the American Dream, not my version of the dream where I get to eat bon bon’s and make art all day just because I think I’m brilliant, but his version, where he could get a job, or two and be free to live with out fear for his life.
This simple conversation, unexpected and unplanned really changed the way I approach my life. A simple interaction, honest answers to small talk with a stranger helped me understand myself, and the world around me a little better. So, as is my nature I make art about it, and I have invited some friends to do the same.