Ruthie – A Life Out of Focus

“Ruthie – A Life Out of Focus” is a story about human tragedy and the effort to rise above its clutches. A mindless accident, a snowy night collision, leaves Ruthie with impaired cognitive powers from the tender age of two days. Her mother was essentially butchered in the collision and her father, feeling the loss of his wife, turned to drinking in a big way. Little Ruthie fell through the proverbial cracks. Were it not for some neighbor ladies, Ruthie would have died. Ruthie became a ward of the court and was taken under the wing of a foster family.

As she grew, their strictness and absence of love wore on Ruthie. In school she was lost, ostracized, teased and humiliated until she cried relentlessly.

Ruthie is overweight, poorly dressed, her makeup poorly applied. . . frumpy at best.

Ruthie’s behavior is also outlandish. Her language skills were developed by listening to her obscenely drunk father shouting profanities at his $5 “whores.” When challenged she resorts in kind to abusive language that is startling by any standard. Junior high was cut short to get rid of her; her high school experience was cut short – holding no promise for success. All structured ties. . . severed.

When Ruthie encounters “the Dude,” a whole new set of experiences envelop her outlook on life. . . but then the Dude is drafted and sent to Vietnam. However, the Dude has imparted a new way of life to Ruthie’s life. She manages to bound from one demeaning sexual experience to another as her life is now laced by white powder. Following a stint in a rehab facility, she begins dancing at a “gentlemen’s” club on the south side of town. It is her! She loves it! She’s developed a technique to undulate her bulbous four hundred pounds around the stage. . . and ignore the cat calls of the college students who bang their “long necks” on the tables in rhythm to the blaring music. She dances herself into a drug-induced emotional and physical collapse.

The downward spiral finally ends and Ruthie finds some semblance of salvation. . . but too late.