The Road Revisited

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Monday, September 04, 2006

I Can't Count to Three and I'm a Terrible Cowboy.

"Does your house have a basketball hoop in the driveway?"
"Yeah," Megan said.
"Sweet, I'm coming up on it right now."

I was meeting her so we could ride her horses. It had been a year since I'd been on a horse and I was itching to ride again. I parked in front of the house and knocked on the door. No one answered. "Hmmm.. maybe Megan's out in the field," I thought. "Well, I'll just wait on the porch and change into my boots." A boy drove up in a black pick-up and began unloading duffel bags from the bed. "Hi!" I called. "Are you Megan's brother?"
"Nice to meet you, I'm Jessica!"
"Hey, I'm Scott."
"Hey, if you see Megan inside can you tell her I'm out here?"
"I don't think she's home."
"Oh, really? Um, okay. She's supposed to meet me here, then. I'll just wait out here."
"Um, okay," he said, giving me a weird look. He went inside, leaving me to tie my boots in the company of a large black lab. My phone rang, it was Megan.
"Where are you?"
"I'm at your house, where are you?"
"You're not at my house."
She was pulling my leg, I was sure of it. "Come on. I just talked to your brother."
"No, you didn't."
"Yeah, I did! Your brother Scott!"
"I don't have a brother named Scott."
"You're at the wrong house, I think."
"Oh, sweet Jesus."
"Stay right where you are, dork. I'm coming to get you."

While I waited for her to save me from the stranger's porch I was camped out on, I knocked on the door to apologize to Scott. "I'm at the wrong house!" I cried, laughing.
"Yeah, I was wondering about that. My sister Megan is four years old."
"Really! Wow, okay, I'm an idiot! Well, sorry to bother you!"
"No problem."
He shut the door, leaving my cheeks to smolder burgundy as I waited for Megan.

She pulled into the drive and I followed her to her place. "You can't count to three?" she asked. "I said the third house on the left."
"Was I supposed to count the one on the corner? It's facing the street."
She just laughed at me.

I rode a huge mare with one of Megan's championship saddles and she rode her show horse. We trotted around the ring for awhile. I was expecting miles of open land where I could canter to my heart's content, but I was so shaky on the trot that I was glad we stuck to the ring. The mare wouldn't listen to my commands and would sometimes stop dead to eat weeds. It was pretty funny. Megan told me stories of getting thrown from a horse, different horses she'd owned and the like, and I ate it up. I think inside every girl there is a bit of horse worship.

After awhile we led the horses back to the corral and the goat got out. "Why do you have a goat?" I asked.
"My grandfather always said it was good luck to have a goat. I think it's an old Mexican thing."

We grilled burgers and laughed at her brother's friend, who tucked a beach towel into his shorts to avoid mosquito bites on his legs. Then Megan showed me a barrel-racing video, some of her runs and some of her trainer's runs. Part of it was in slow motion and it was amazing to see the horses run at such angles, just like motorcycles taking sharp corners.

When it was time to go it was already dark, about 11 o'clock. I started backing out of the driveway but stopped short as the goat ran behind the car. Megan was already in the house so it was up to me to wrangle the goat. "Hey, goat! C'mere!" I couldn't have Megan's grandfather's good luck charm wandering the streets on my watch. I tried catching up to it but it ran ahead, towards the road. "Crap!" I grabbed a rope from the corral fence and made a hasty lasso. "I guess I'm not really in Montana until I rope a goat," I thought. I chased after it, trying to heave the rope around its neck, but it was useless. I was the worst cowboy Montana had ever seen. I was only glad that it was dark and no one was there to witness it. Eventually, after about seven minutes of bumbling after the goat, it slipped through a huge crack in another fence, into another corral. "Um, okay, stay! Stay, goat. Good goat."

It just bleated at me, which I guess means, "Leave me alone, you crazy bitch," in goat-speak.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger fhqwhgads said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger fhqwhgads said...

Wow... I should really proofread what I write at 3am... let's try that comment again.

I once got into an argument over the radio with a dispatcher because I was supposed to be on Eldemar Road, but I was on Alder Road.

"Radio, I'm telling you, there's no one standing on the front porch and the mailbox looks perfectly fine!"

Happens to the best of us.


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