Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Bend

I hate that corner.

Its a 90 degree bend in a country road, close enough to town for convenience, far enough out to keep dirty secrets. The parking area is littered with rotting garbage, tattered sofas and silenced torments.

Jeannie's son was driving home late one night. As he rounded the bend a car screamed out of the darkened pull off behind him. The driver seemed crazed, honking and trying to run the young man off the road.

I don't remember the details of the rest of the story. It ended up with Jeannie calling the cops and her husband grabbing a gun and joining in the car chase. The cops cornered the psycho in the parking lot of a local hotel. As they were cuffing him they discovered a small boy-- his stepson-- frozen, silent, and bloodstained in the backseat of the car.

I hate that bend.

I use that shortcut this afternoon, racing home from town on the misty fringes of the icestorm. Something catches my eye about an old barn, makes me want to pull over and play with photos. I remember with delight I'd thrown my camera in my bag that morning. I look for a pulloff. My heart sinks and my hackles rise as I realize where I am.

I maneuver my Subaru through cast-off Christmas trees and decaying deer carcasses. I can see the barn through the mist. It reminds me off the cover of the book, "The Shack." I shudder and start praying over the area.

As I walk along the road away from that dreadful parking area, I slip into that amazing place-beyond-words between the camera and the world around me. At some point a man comes out to check his mailbox. "Looks like that barn could use a fixer-up," I laugh.

"Or a strong wind," he replies ruefully, "we hear it creaking and groaning at night...."

The low battery warning leads me back to the car, back to the Bend. Praises and prayers again flow freely. A powerful Peace washes over.... I climb into the car.

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