beginning to think being called unpatriotic is like being called nigger. that's how (white) folks seem to carry on about it. it's not the idiot flipping you the finger calling you a nigger that throws you, it's when you least expect it.
got (stole?) a big book about horses when young. bunch of horse drawings & descriptions: Morgans, Walkers, Arabians, Mustangs, Appaloosas, Chincoteagues, Thoroughbreds ... famous horses, ponies & Paso Finos (think that's spanish for fine gait — see hot stud Mandato de La Luisa & his pop Amadeus de Resorte Cuarto). forgot how i found out about a woman in my department (this was years ago) who owned a paso fino. knew her, but not too well. sweet dark-haired lady, my age, with kids & a farm outside nashville. she eagerly invited me & we set something up.
you would think a person who'd been drawing horses for years would actually want to be around horses. ha! scared of 'em. those big teeth. my friend's horse was gorgeous & she had me holding the reins, brushing the horse while she kept chatting as she gave the horse & me time to get comfortable with each another. absolutely gorgeous horse — and yes! what a gait!. when i finally managed to ride him it was wonderful. hours later, we walked into the house & we might've sat down for coffee & made future plans. i'll never know.
my friend's mom, thin, gray & oooollllddd, started walking towards us from her room. preparing to extend southern hospitality & receive some in return, i turned toward her & ... i cannot remember a word that woman said, but (please believe me), it was the most racist thing i'd ever heard. you must experience the blood freezing in your veins at least once in your life. suddenly, i'm a walking-talking ice cube human bean. my mother's lady-in-waiting training went on automatic pilot, with the grin on my face becoming a flash-frozen rictus of steel magnolia graciousness. my friend & i were suddenly embarrassed with each other — we stumbled through a quick-as-can-be goodbye. my blood managed to thaw a little during the 40 minutes it took to drive back home.
when i think about it now, i'm sad i never went back so my friend & i could share our love for Paso Finos, i'd get a chance to get over my fear of horses & somehow ... we'd both help each other heal ... goddammit.