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When we first met she was kind, less sure of herself then she is now. She did not want to hurt me, but she did not want to hurt herself. I was nervous but when I felt her strength through the reins I knew I would be safe.

"Tell me about yourself." I asked.

She replied with a buck, and I hit the ground hard. She looked at me, her reins snapped from where I held on a moment too long. She was testing me, wanting to know if she ought to try to get to know me.

Three days later I rang her owner and said yes.

"Tell me about yourself." She wanted to know if I am a fighter, or a quitter.

"Tell me about yourself." I wanted to know if she was bad to the bone, or just spirited.

She bucked and reared, ran when I wanted a walk, walked when I wanted a run. She would not collect, would not bend. She ran me into fences, into trees. I did not fall off. She began to stop.

"Tell me about yourself." We had established the most basic trust, tentative and wavering from day to day. I told her about myself, and she listened. She listened when I came to see her, she knew my moods from my step and the changing tremors in my voice as I opened her stall. She learned about my day from the way I pushed against her for a hoof, or the way I lent on her while she ate.

"Tell me about yourself." I asked.

"I think I like you." She came at my call, nuzzled me for food, some days even nickered. She was happier, calmer. I felt her relax, and felt her ease when she stretched out on the ground and basked in the sun.

"Don't move." I would say as I rested on her, my hand loose around her lead rope, her head bent to the ground. I really meant "Don't change."

We began to work together. Understand each other. People would say "she's crazy" but I never knew if they meant me or the horse.

"Do you trust me?" She asked. I put a eight year old on her back. She carried her quietly, not putting a single foot wrong.

"Of course I trust you."

Summer rolled on.

"Would you miss me if I went away?"

My holiday came, and she bucked and reared and bolted. I came back to a lame horse and a nervous rider. She saw me and nuzzled me and said "Why did you ever leave?"

I got cocky, and she taught me that pride goes before a fall.

"Would you hate me if I made you leave?" Summer was over. Times had changed.

"Would you hate yourself if you made me leave?"

She answered me with snorts and clattering feet and little rears as I forced her up the ramp. She left me alone, staring down the drive after a trail of dust and a tall white trailer with a dark shadow inside looking back at me.

I answered her when I realized she'd left a hole in my heart.


To Rose.

    ~ This node is inspired by Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, and "Century's End" by Donald Fagen (from said novel's movie soundtrack) ~

 

  • "There's nobody new, so she zeroes in on you for love - which means look, maybe touch, but beyond that not too much. For love. In the city. At the century's end."

 

I recall a time, in a different life, doing key-bumps in the bathroom of "the new hot place in town." I had just arrived in my attorney's new Porsche convertible. I remember waiting at the bar grinding my teeth, wearing a pair of Dolce & Gabbana jeans and Club Monaco blazer. I looked at myself in the mirror behind the liquor bottles... through my Wayfarers... while impatiently waiting for a gin and soda and gripping my AMEX to the point of nearly bending it in half.

At that moment, I became cogently aware that I was the exact replica of McInerney's "on the precipice" protagonist - disgusted with myself and hopelessly in love with someone who cut me out of their life for some dip-shit cowboy and a new hairdo.

Who wants to be the "real life" version of a screenplay's tragic figure? My existence had gone completely off the rails.

That was the first time I seriously contemplated suicide. Had that coke not been so weak - therein causing me to fall asleep while jerking-off that night - I'd probably have rope burn scars on my neck right now.

The kicker here is... I am not "chemically" depressed. In my dreams I have so much hope. But in my reality, I've no control or part to play in this shithole society. It hurts too much to see my friends dead eyes. It hurts to be condemned by the only people I've ever loved for having faith, and wanting to take roads less traveled. I can't turn myself off like the rest of this planet seems to be able; and even in fleeting moments of pleasure, I shudder with guilt knowing there are so many other people in pain.

What is there left to do...?

For 4 months in 2007, I did Kundalini yoga everyday to the point I was literally forced into a meditative state via exhaustion, and it made me realize the beauty of the spirit's potential. I felt on top of the world. Then I get thrown in the pokey, for no other reason than jealousy and misunderstanding, and it all goes down the shitter.

I have one wish... to experience the feeling of love.

My one ex concerned herself more with upward mobility than compassion; my parents had always lived in different parts of our/their home. From the age of 5, there were innumerable times I was in the middle of confrontations in which I literally ended up bruised and concussed. They've always hated each other, and continue to use me both as a scapegoat for their pain and leverage against each other, leaving me sick with pain beget of anger.

I've only made it this far because I'm wise enough to have learned to hustle while never venturing outside my firm moral parameters. I could be a lawyer right now, but in exchange for my Juris Doctorate, my law school cash-refunded my tuition because I was the short-end of two favoritism sticks and they fucking knew that I knew. I cannot imagine there is no heaven because I have walked my way through hell.

And I've still not broken one vow made to myself, God... or anyone I love - or have loved. I can only do what I'm doing now because I have no fear anymore; when you get shit on for so long, I guess a teflon-esque barrier builds itself around what self-worth you can still possibly maintain.

And I know I'm not alone. In fact, I know I'm part of the majority. A majority without a voice; but I have a voice - and this is my forum.

Lowliness is hardly bearable anymore. The music inside of me has become my only true friend, which subjectively appears to be as ugly as my outside self. My own words have proven disappointingly ineffective, so here I will end with one of my favorite songs... of things beautiful and tragic; manifestations of the lucid un-life:

Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This...

 

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