#4 In Roads-Tabitha


I took my time filling up, and kind of lurked around the pump as others came and went. I was hoping someone would strike up a conversation with me for a change, so I made eye contact and tried to connect without having to make the first move towards conversation. But no one did. I felt invisible and just couldn’t bring myself to speak to anyone so I hit the road with a decision to stop and try again before rolling into my friend’s place. I didn’t need gas, but decided to fill up again anyway and just like before, I looked around for some one to speak to. There was only a girl who was caught up in her own drama, frantically stomping around the property while shrieking into the phone about her dead car. I chose not to interrupt her rant and noticed an older man leaving the convenience store. He smiled and I asked if he could give me directions, though I know highway 80 like the back of my hand. It was the only icebreaker I could think of. Shrugging and mumbling, I realized he didn’t speak English and I don’t habla Español very well so I gave up and left.

Another 30 miles down the road I meet Tabitha. Except this isn’t really her name. She explains that I caught her on an off day since she almost never leaves the house without make up but for these rare occasions she has an alter ego and goes by Tabitha. The 30 year old agrees to be photographed as long as I use this name. She doesn’t ask what I’ll do with the image and we chat about her nine years as a makeup artist. Tabitha tells me she would never ride a motorcycle of her own. As a kid she watched as life saving efforts were made for a bike crash victim who wasn’t wearing a helmet and the gruesome images are permanently etched into her memory. She says there’s something about not having any walls around her that makes her uncomfortable and though her dad had a bike and she has ridden behind friends, she just isn’t really into the whole bike thing. I chuckle at the realization that we are absolute polar opposites and find myself looking for words to convert her, but find none.


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