Please Be Careful

When my now husband Nick and I were first dating Nick had a motorcycle. He loved that motorcycle, but as most things with early college aged students, it didn’t last very long. About two months after he got his bike he was changing lanes when he ran into the back of a mini van, which was turning left with no signal on and no brake lights. He flew off the bike and his head hitting and breaking, the back windshield of the van broke his fall.

 

That morning I was making my way to my painting class, riding on the bus to get to North Campus, when I got a call from Nick. He cheerfully (cheerfully for the situation) asked, “guess where I am?”. I figured he was on the bus, so I began to look around as I asked where he was. His response was “I’m sitting in the back of an ambulance and I think I broke both of my legs”. I guess his response caught me by surprise because after I got off of the phone with him a complete stranger sitting across from me asked if I was okay. I was in such shock I didn’t know what to do, I should’ve stayed on the bus, rode it back to my car, and gone straight to the hospital. Instead, I actually went into my class and asked permission from my teacher to miss class because my boyfriend was just in a motorcycle accident. I’m sure my teacher thought I was crazy for even being there asking that question. I found my senses around the time I was pulling out of the parking lot to head to the hospital, and I sped down a road known for speed traps. Of course I was immediately pulled over and the poor cop had to walk up to the window of a very upset young lady. Luckily he let me on my way and I finally made it to the hospital.

 

It turns out Nick only broke one leg, severely bruised the bone on the other, and busted his lip. He had to wear a cast up to his hip for weeks, then get surgery to put screws in his leg. Which brings me to the explanation of this page… Nick had screws in his leg for four or five years when he decided to have them removed. They often bothered him, and he was about to go off of his parents insurance and decided to take advantage of it one last time. Going through surgery again brought up the old feelings related to the accident. I know that Nick will get another motorcycle, he loves riding them way too much. Therefore, this page is for his past motorcycle experiences and future experiences, me hoping and praying for his safety. The skeleton represents the danger of motorcycles, and the printed words “please be careful” are my hopes that another accident doesn’t await him in the future. I placed a red, capitalized “BE CAREFUL” over his chest. The black stripe on the right side flips open to show another skeleton on their knees praying for safety (me).

 

I printed and layered images of screws in the background to represent the screws that were taken out of his leg. I wanted the road to transition from a nice looking street to a scarier road. I used magazines for the beginning, I found images of roads and green for grass, etc. I then overlapped black construction paper that I painted with browns, blacks, and reds to continue the road. I printed an image of the motorcycle Nick had and two skeletons from the internet. On the skeleton I used to represent Nick I put it back through the printer and printed the words “Please be careful” on top. It was tricky to position it just right so the red “Be careful” ended up on the skeleton’s chest. Before I glued the bike and skeleton down I splattered red paint to look like blood. I cut the skeleton out, and detached his arms and legs so I could position the body the way I wanted. To create the flap I glued a piece of black construction paper on the backside of the right page. I then glued down the next page to cover up the backside of the flap. I used the extra’s from the printed “please be careful” words to layer under the flap and glued the other skeleton down.

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