It's the End of the World and I am to be Killed

SkyBird, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This Saturday, I had opportunity to go downtown, to drop off my pieces for the upcoming 5×7 show at ArtHouse. Now, the ArtHouse is right downtown, located at 7th and Congress and the annual 5×7 show is one of their big fundraisers, with sometime like 900 artists participating. It’s kind of a big deal, although it works the same every year-you do your work on a 5×7 art board (provided) and drop it off with the ArtHouse folks. Then, at the time of the show, the boards are placed out on display anonymously and all are for sale for a set price, with the funds going to provide additional revenue for ArtHouse events, shows, and classes. It’s all for a good cause, and I like helping out, so I try to do it every year, this year being no exception. The work was due on Sunday so I decided that I would finish up my work on Saturday afternoon and then try to run down there, to ArtHouse, to drop it off, so that they would have it and I would be all ready for the show.

For those of you who don’t know Austin very well, 7th and Congress is located at the very heart of the City. It’s right downtown. When I say “downtown” I mean like in the heart, smack dab in the middle of the City. So, Saturday afternoon, I packed up my (completed) art boards and headed down to the heart of River City, in an attempt at dropping off my work for this upcoming show.

As you can probably imagine, parking is a bit of a problem right downtown. It’s always hard to find a spot, there are strange meters there (parking only from 4-6 but not after 5) and there is generally a lot of chaos. Congress Avenue has no turn lanes and it’s always hard to just take a left without totally pissing off the guy behind you, not to mention there’s just like no parking anywhere to be found down in that neck of the woods. Still though, I braved the downtown scene, and managed to find a spot right across Congress Avenue from the ArtHouse, right on Congress just north of 7th Street. OK, so I was off to a good start, or so I though. All I had to do was cross Congress, dump off my boards, and I would be so *done* with this show.

Ah, unfortunately, not so fast! Things didn’t go quite as planned. For starters, the building, the ArtHouse building, looked like it was under renovations. I walked up to the front door only to find it gated, after I had put a measly dime in the meter (allowing me a mere 15 minutes of parking, seeing as I was just across the street and all) I could not find the entryway or, it would appear, it was all boarded up. I thought maybe I had the wrong entrance so I walked around the building but no luck. Again, nothing. There were just no doors, at least none that I could find. So, back to the front for me. After doing circles around the block, I noticed a small-ish sign on the front door, next to the construction and gate zone, that said something like, “5×7 artists, please use side entrance and ring service bell for entry.” Ah, right! OK! *Smacks head.* Here we go back around the building again. Lap number three! Once more with feeling and all. So, I go to the service entrance, ring the bell, and drop off my work with the nice lady there. I also managed to pickup some older work and chat with her a bit. All’s well and good again in the kingdom except that, well, now it’s time to repeat the trip in reverse, that is, to make my way back home to suburbia yet again. So, I say goodbye and head back out the service entrance, walking back towards my car.

I heard him before I spotted him, but there was some strange guy, you know the type (I swear, they must have these in every city) babbling on about “It’s the end of the world!” and flailing his arms about in strange ways. I tried to avoid him but, honestly, we were on a collision course. I heard the “It’s the end of the world!” nonsense growing louder until finally he confronted me. We nearly bumped into each other, right there on the corner of Congress and 7th Avenue.

“It’s the end of the world,” my very drunk or stoned friend declared while looking me straight in the eye, “It’s the end of the world and you’re going to die! I’m going to die! You’re going to be killed. We’re all going to die!” His arms were making wide circles in the sky and he was looping around, stopping only long enough to look me in the eye to tell me I was soon to be killed.

As I was discussing, um, “things” with my nice, new, ahem, “friend,” I happened to notice the traffic light on Congress Avenue changing. It was going from walk to no-walk and, though I do speak Urban and thought it might be fun to play catch-up with my new found buddy, I opted instead to hustle and try to make the light because, after all, I really just had to cross Congress Avenue, to get to my waiting (parked) car (the one with 2 minutes left on the meter now!) to free myself from this urban dystopia otherwise known as a typical Saturday afternoon down on Congress Avenue.

That’s when it happened. I started rushing, to make the light, when, out of nowhere (don’t they always say that!) comes this kid on a skateboard. When I say, “comes” I mean actually “comes barreling down the street nearly killing me.” When I say, “nearly killing me,” I swear I mean, he almost took off my nose! He missed me by inches and, I swear, had he hit me it would have done some serious damage (he was going that fast.)

So, to recap, I was nearly killed by a passing skateboarder just seconds after some crazy doped up man told me I was to be killed because, as everybody knows, it’s the end of the world. Oh joy! (Remind me again how much I love downtown Austin.) The morale of this story though, if it could possibly have one, is that, yes, Virginia, crazy people do exist in the world and, yes, though they are crazy, that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t sometimes also right too. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you and, yes, even crazy people get it right every once in a while. The universe, it would appear, sometimes likes to throw them a bone too (crazy or not.) Now, I’m perfectly willing to chalk this one up to: Carol 0, Crazy People 1 except that I know this means they are winning (in more ways than one!) Still, though, the skateboarder did almost take me out. Phew! That was a close one!

It goes without saying really but, should you be dropping off work at the 5×7 show, or should you even happen to be in a vicinity of 7th and Congress, do please be on the lookout for a wise (but rather stoned, otherwise out of it) man declaring you are to be killed. And, should I happen to get swallowed into a sinkhole, get killed by a surfer (on dry land) or get crushed under a giant grapefruit, why, I guess, now you know what *really* happened.

Until next time (I hope!)…


  1. Great Grandma Lin
    March 5, 2013 / 5:26 pm

    what an exciting life you live! you are quite the writer…

  2. Carol
    March 8, 2013 / 7:30 pm

    Thanks! I try anyway. 🙂

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