By Ryn Gargulinski
When it comes to escaping, soap heads are so passé, however cute they may appear on the tour of Alcatraz.
Several soap heads were made by inmates to fool guards and give them time to break out of “The Rock” and most likely plunge to their deaths — in the angry, icy waters surrounding the island on which the prison looms.
The Clovis inmate who escaped from the local lockup had it a little better. Land surrounds the jail.
And he didn’t use a soap head. Instead, he fashioned something that may have been blankets into a lump to resemble a man curled in a fetal position.
Why a man curled in a fetal position for two days went ignored is another topic altogether.
I’d rather focus on escaping. And what I would say to the Clovis inmate if he showed up on my doorstep. Of course, I’d tell him this through the keyhole, but I’d say, “More power to ya!”
And good luck.
Not that I condone the illegal things he did to land in jail in the first place. But I do condone creativity, initiative and following one’s dreams. Even if that dream means breaking out of jail.
Not all escapes, however, bring better circumstances. Just ask the drowned guys from Alcatraz. Or ask my hamster Gretel, who fled her cage for a new life in the wall, only to meet her fate by chewing on an electrical outlet.
Escapism is surely nothing new. People have done it for years with moonshine, hashish, absinthe and suicide.
One can also attempt to escape with “geographics,” which are hasty moves across the country, hoping the next place is better than the last.
Not that I’d know about that.
My past two years have been littered with an escape from New York, an escape from Clovis to Tucumcari, another escape to the Pacific Ocean, and finally an escape from the driving rain.
But somewhere in a frantic Oregon storm — probably the one that knocked the lights out — the rules changed.
The game board was hurled into the air, chunks of fake money and red hotels flying willy-nilly.
Rather than flee to the next newspaper that would hire me, be it in Alaska or Beruit, Lebanon, I picked a place I wanted to be and moved with no job on the horizon.
Pretty gutsy, some said. Pretty dumb, said others.
Heck, it’s not like I broke out of prison or used blankets rolled into a fetal position.
I sure hope Arizona is the place, since my New York savings has just about been cashed out, I start a new job Tuesday and my dog likes the desert, despite the cactus shards that pepper his paws.
I learned, some $20,000 later, that a place can’t make one happy — but one can be happy anyplace — as long as one faces things and abates the escapes.
I also know I will continue to write from the heart, from the soul.
That, for sure, there is no escaping.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Ryn Gargulinski’s final column for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. She can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org