Shifting Gears


I’m out of my element. I’m in a world of men and metal and an addiction to speed: the racetrack. My guy is here as a driver; I’m here as payback for something I did in a former life that must have been truly horrible. This weekend it is Motorsports Park in Canada, about 60 miles east of Toronto. This (no different than any other) is a place of no creature comforts, no tea on demand, and a quarter mile hike to a flush toilet For the next four days it’s the price I pay for wanting to be with the man I love. I find this to be so unpleasant (more so when the weather is lousy) that I often opt out and stay at home in my studio with music and scented candles and all my art-making supplies at hand, as I did for the past two weeks.
This week we made a compromise; I would travel with him, but stay at the hotel during the practice and qualifying days – when rain was in the forecast – and come to the track for the two race days. I brought with me books, papers, bookbinding tools, sketchbooks, pencils and colored pencils. I was prepared for long, happy days of solitude just making stuff.
I was not prepared for the “newly renovated” HoJo’s in Bentonville, Ontario. Which is actually still under renovation. And pretty early in the process by the look of things. We got a bad feeling just pulling into the place and when we drove around the building to our room and saw the ten or so construction workers sitting outside the motel rooms on their plastic chairs drinking cheap beer, my heart dropped a little bit more and my sweetheart started muttering, “I’m sorry” over and over. There is no exterior lighting and something was dripping on my head as we tried to get into our room The door needs a kick as well as a key and there is juuust enough room to walk around the bed and shove an unopened suitcase in the corner. No desk or table to work at, no possibility of any kind of creative atmosphere.
So here I am, at the track, hoping I can carve out a couple relatively clean square feet in the trailer to work, stopping just short of kicking myself for hoping against my better judgement and experience that this could be fun for both of us. At least it’s not raining. Yet.
Vroom vroom.


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