#205—Cement

 

#205—Cement

 

When Cindy, my sculpturing teacher at Yavapai College, instructed me how to use cement, I was repulsed by the idea of using a coarse material like concrete to make attractive sculptures. Difficult at first, concrete soon became a texture in my hands that I enjoyed shaping to my demands. I soon discovered I could perform magical feats and my imagination produced images I couldn’t wait to build.

I created an elongated woman from sand and powdered cement that even Giacometti would have been proud of.  The way she reached for the clouds with her arm so long and thin that it looked like she almost touched the sky. Her cement arm, bound to steel, pointed to darkening clouds. Flashes of electricity filled the air, seeking to strike and knock down onto the ground any who dared stand tall above others.            The arrogant woman I created dared, and when lightning came to strike her down, Benjamin Franklin’s invention saved my creation that fearlessly pointed toward from whence it came.

She was brave, so I gave her a helmet and a spear and named her Boadicea, my warrior queen. Then I built a dog to stand by her side.

It was as if cement had gotten into my blood. I filled my lawn with sculptures. I built another dog, a cat, a man, and a boy. There was an Indian Chief wearing an African mask, and a torso fashioned after a man that held my street address. I ran out of space and couldn’t add any more sculptures to my lawn, but in my mind, the ones I had came alive.

At night, I’d dream about Boadicea and her dog battling Roman troops that fell before her advance. Giacometti’s man, boy, and dog came alive and followed her into every fight. Before long, I too joined in and wore armor made from cement. The Centurions called for retreat when they saw us coming and all their troops ran.

We celebrated after our victories, and the dogs ate the dead while the man and boy along with Boadicea and I feasted on anything we wanted and drank the finest wine.

The more wine I drank, the better Boadicea looked. I wondered if I had a chance to make love to a warrior queen. I looked into her cold eyes and saw a spark there. I put my hand on her breast and it was hard. She put her hand on my chest and it was cold. Not much different than most women I knew.

Every night I couldn’t wait to go to sleep so I could be with her. Before long, all I did was sleep. When I awoke, I’d take a pill to help me sleep. She became my life, my everything, and I only lived to be with her. One night I had a dream in which Boadicea cheated on me with a Roman god called Apollo. I challenged him to a duel and he said, “I don’t fight. I’m god of brightness, music and art. If you want a fight, I’ll send Mars to battle for me. That’s what he does best.

Jesus! I had to fight the god of war, but if I wanted to keep Boadicea for myself, I didn’t have a choice. He showed up for battle carrying a spear. I carried an AK-47 and before the god of war had a chance to impale me, I put my weapon on automatic and emptied the magazine into him and killed him.

“I worshipped the one you killed,” cried Boadicea, “he gave me the power to fight.”

“Now that he’s dead, there will be no need to fight,” I said.

“Are you a fool? Do you think that by killing one god, war will stop?”

“Wasn’t he the motivator for all wars?”

“Bellona motivated more than he ever thought about. You and I are through,” Boadicea said.

Broken-hearted, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to awake and return to the real world where I lived day to day. It was in the midst of my despair that I looked to the sky and saw a winged woman flying toward me.

“Fear not, she said, “I’m Vica Pota, the goddess who appreciates a mere mortal who can conquer and vanquish a god. If Boadicea is finished with you, we can have an affair.”

I put my hand on one of her wings and felt a jolt like an electric charge coursing through me and filling me with a pleasure I could hardly believe existed. I immediately fell in love and asked, “Will you come and see me every night?”

“If you can imagine it, I can come,” she said.

Those words woke me up and then I knew it was all a dream. I went out to my front lawn and Boadicea still stood there looking to the sky. But something had changed. She had a guilty look on her face. I remembered her infidelity and went to the garage for my sledgehammer. “I’ll teach you to cheat on me, bitch.” I raised the sledge above my head and was about to smash her leg when a bolt came out of the blue and melted the hammer’s head.

I looked at her face and the guilt was replaced with a look that said don’t you dare mess with a goddess like me.

“Wait until I go to sleep. I’m going to tell Vica Pota what you’ve done.”

Her look changed to one of worry and I knew I was in control.

Then it hit me that I too was a God. After all, I created

Boadicea without any help and killed the god of war in my dream, so in that world I was as powerful as I wanted to be. I spent the day thinking of ways to make Boadicea suffer.