Sunday, January 31, 2010
Day Thirty--Crying Over the Horse
Okay, so what happened to that beautiful palomino Paint, Lowdown, who got me over my fears and helped me get my courage back? I sold him. I know, I know. It was one of the stupidest things I ever did. I’m crying about it now, just writing this. Of course, lately, since I’ve quit smoking, I’ve been very emotional and I’ve been crying about everything. They say that smoking masks emotions. I always thought that was ridiculous. It’s not like drinking where someone gets loaded to hide the pain. But now that I’ve been off them, I think they do mask feelings. Because along with the anger and the rage, and even this newfound sense of humor I’ve acquired where everything is funny, I’ve been sad. And it’s all coming out. I told Kurt I was feeling melancholy. He pointed out that I never even used that word before. Melancholy.
Anyway, I’ve been crying my eyes out. I’ve been crying about long lost relatives who I haven’t seen in years. I’ve been crying about long dead relatives. And dead TV stars like I Love Lucy. That got me thinking about Ricky Ricardo who died of lung cancer and I started crying about him and it reinforced my quit. Music guys like Eddie Arnold who sang one of my favorite songs, “Make the World Go Away.” He recently died and so I’ve been playing that song and crying. Les Paul. (Because I want to sound like I’m sophisticated musically.) John Denver. Which made me think of Sonny Bono out there in Colorado and I know Cher’s heart is broken even though they were divorced for years. Is James Taylor dead? I hope he’s not dead too.
Then I cried about my old customers at the Cambridge Inn because “Make the World Go Away” was on the jukebox. I cried about those who died, those who might have died since I’ve been there last, and those who are still drinking, their noses dropping lower and lower into their mugs until someone shakes them and says “Last call.” They might as well be dead.
Yeah, I wonder about those guys. Scottie, Old Man Charlie, Dave the Lobsterman, Mitch-I’ve-Fallen-Down-And-Can’t-Get-Up, Jimbo, Rich who brought me a pack of gum every time he came in, Don who’s ex-wife was born with only one nipple (or was it three?), and all the guys from IFF who brought me perfume in unmarked bottles. George Ross. Rossie. That’s what we called him. He I know is dead because I went to his funeral. He was the best. Why am I crying about all these people?
I’ve been crying about friends I didn’t appreciate, friends I didn’t know I had till I moved away, and friendly neighbors who taught me how to use draw reins and still send Christmas cards. Coworkers and bosses who I thought I would see again but have lost touch with and can’t find no matter how much I Google like Bob and Arlene. Ricky and Amy. Joy. Debbie. Diana Nova. I’ve been crying about Haiti and the little boy whose stepfather killed him, and Morgan Harrington who disappeared at the Metallica concert and now they found her body and her mother said that even her bones were pretty.
I’ve been crying about my mother who has leukemia but that’s a given. I’ve been crying about her for months, long before I quit smoking. And my father.
I’ve been crying over the death of the dream I had of having a close relationship with my brother and sister. I have given up on that. For some reason, they don’t like me. At best, they are distant and uninterested. At worst, they are mean and disrespectful. And so, I have to, for my own sanity, give up any expectations I had of being one big happy family like The Walton’s. It ain’t gonna happen. I’m sad about that. But I’m also okay because I have given up. If you don’t expect something, you can’t get disappointed.
And so all these things I cry about. And that includes the horse. I cried about him to a stranger the other day. I tried to reach the guy I sold him to but none of the contact information I had still worked. That freaked me out, that I lost track of Lowdown. My girlfriend helped me dig online and we found an old advertisement that they were trying to sell him. That really freaked me out but also got me excited. Maybe I could buy him? But oh no!—the ad was a few years old—he must have gotten sold! Maybe the new owner would sell him? Of course I would never be able to afford him. I had sold him for a lot of money back then. More than I could ever afford. That was one of the reasons I sold him. For the money. And regretted it even before I delivered him to the new owner, the rich people, with a big red bow on his neck.
I called the contact person on the advertisement. It was the barn manager where the owners were boarding him. They were still at the same place. He hadn’t sold. She told me that the daughter had lost interest and the owners had been leasing him out to various kids around the stable for the last few years. Didn’t surprise me because he was so good. She promised she would tell the owner that I was trying to reach him and I wiped my eyes.
I began having fantasies that maybe somehow I could buy him back. Maybe they’d let me make payments? Now that I quit smoking, I could afford to make payments! I even fantasized that maybe something was wrong with him and they needed to find a home for him and I would take him even if I could never ride him because I love him so much and that was the stupidest thing I ever did, selling that horse. And here I am crying again…
I don’t know if I’m going to make this no smoking thing because it’s been a month and I still feel like I want to die.