FINDING MYSELF WHERE I WAS TAKEN AT GUNPOINT
Date Published: March 24, 2013
Seventeen years ago just off that corner, I was taken at gun point in my car. As I drove past last night after a roof top garden party in Palermo Hollywood (way too late or rather too early to mention the time), I saw two girls in party clothes, staggering on the street. My eyes met hers and for an instant we connected, her fear was sending SOS signals. My car made a right turn onto the final street that would lead me into my parent’s neighborhood. Safely home into my bed to rest.
Something inside me knew better. A chill ran deep through my body and my car stalled. For a few seconds my wheel was confused, it turned in one direction and then the other. An internal battle… what to do!? My car finally maneuvered back to them, crossing the street with blinking streets lights and pulled up to them. Unfamiliar with my mom’s car, I fumbled with the door controls in the dark and managed to open the co-pilot window. “What are you girls doing out here at this time of night!?”, I asked them in spanish. They lunged towards my car as if it were an oxygen tank.
Through the window, they explained they were on their way to a party and the boys who were taking them were drunk and had begun to throw up. Stay in the car with a known danger or jump off onto the street for an unknown threat? They had had the courage to get out and here they were, vulnerable… in a dangerous situation. “Can you take us to Alvear y el rio?!”, they asked me; they would meet other friends there. I had just come from that direction and was two minutes away from home, where even in my mid-thirties knew that my mom was waiting anxiously for me to get back. Without hesitation and filled with gratitude for being able to help, I unlocked the car and they jumped in.
How could I ever forget our ten minute drive? I felt the love of an older sister, taking care of her siblings. I explained I had just landed the previous night from Miami. When I was nineteen years old, I had been taken in my burgundy VW for an hour into a shanty town, just half a block from where they had been standing. “I’m nineteen years old!”, the girl in the back said. Something in me had guided me to come back for them. They couldn’t believe their luck or how gracious I had been to take them to their destination. Stepping out of the car they memorized my name, promising to become friends on Facebook.
My mom’s face turned into disgust and fear as I narrated the story. She constantly reads the newspaper in Argentina and stories of deceit and unhappy endings are blasted by the media daily. My ‘innocence’ shielded me from closing down in fear and allowed me to trust my instincts. At no moment did I doubt I should be there for them and still I promised my mom I wouldn’t be naive and expose myself to unnecessary danger during this coming week. I could sense her heart expanding as her fear subsided.
I woke up with a new friend this morning. We are all together in this life, teaching, inspiring, helping, honoring and loving each other. Let us fly high above the chaos and confusion… May we all be blessed by this realization.
Love, light and laughter!