Saturday, May 15, 2010

Frida Kahlo

I became infatuated with her a couple of years ago when my beautiful, Hispanic, ageless, tiger-like, Degas-loving partner Maria gifted me a t-shirt for my birthday from a Kahlo exhibit she recently attended at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Didn't know much about her, so I rented the Salma Hayek movie and got to know her. Loved her beautiful, tragic, artistic, sexual self.

Tonight I went to see my astrological twin Deidre's boyfriend Jerry play bass in his band. We had a blast playing groupies. A woman caught my eye - her long, wavy dark hair framed an exotic Spanish blood-featured face. She looked to be in her late thirties or early forties. She wore a long, flowing, patterned Bohemian flower print shirt covering jean shorts that hugged her torso and ended below her knees - cuffed. She walked with a cane. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. She was with a guy, and they had backstage pass necklaces, so I shouldn't have been surprised when Deidre spontaneously told me her story.

I missed the beginning - the connection - the band was loud. But I caught the rest.

"She was in a big accident a couple of years ago."

"A car accident?"

"Yeah. See that truck?" Deidre pointed to a half-semi behind the stage.

I nodded.

"A guy was driving a truck like that, and he had a heart attack. She saw him coming, sensed his loss of control, and knew he was going to hit her. Both of her kids were in the car, and she turned it in such a way that it would hit her, and not them."

I got goose bumps.

"She was in the hospital for months. Fractured pelvis, and broken leg bones. Still in rehab."

So it was Frida. But not a barren one.

Later in the evening, when Deidre snuck backstage to get us free beer from the keg, a hauntingly beautiful pre-teen boy walked over and grabbed a third chair sitting on the other side of the one holding my friend's purse that I was guarding. I caught the eye of the (I guess?) dad, and silently assured him it was OK. This was the son. Sitting next to the daughter. The ones that were saved by their mom's sacrifice. More goose bumps. I like to think that I would do anything for my kids, and seeing her physical display of my internal devotion moved me beyond words.

Kept sneaking looks at Frida all night, and finally caught her eye. Smiled, and was rewarded with one in return. It filled my heart.


Kyla said...

Wow, what a story. That is an incredible sacrifice, one that I hope I would make in the same situation.

Anonymous said...

You should also check out "The Lacuna" by Barbara Kingsolver. Much of it is set in Mexico and Frida Kahlo plays a large role. Very fun to read and a nice piece of historical fiction.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I'm impressed she had the ability to think to do that, in the face of an oncoming semi.

I love Barbara Kingsolver. I've read The Bean Tree, Pigs in Heaven, and The Poisonwood Bible. Have Prodigal Summer and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, but haven't gotten around to them yet. Hadn't heard of The Lacuna - I'll have to check that one out. Thanks for the tip!

Ginger said...

Since I am constantly daydreaming worst case scenarios (especially while driving) , I have always had the plan to turn the impact towards me in any collision. I think that is just instinctual for a parent.

I am sooooo glad she survived.

Gizabeth Shyder said...

I never daydreamed these horrible situations, at least in cars. Now I will. Ugghh.