Rose Parade

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Live and learn...or just keep screwing up

Apparently, it's two sides of a coin. Heads or tails. One or the other. Take me, for example. I don't seem to be able to get anything right. I just discovered that I've lost Meadowlark's leather halter. Let me explain: Meadowlark was the best first horse EVER. And she was mine. The first and possibly last time fate ever smiled on me so sweetly. She was a true gift, one of the very best things that ever happened to me and ever will. When I got her, she was 22 years old and had it all figured out. She was what horsepeople refer to as "bombproof". I was fifteen and to say I was firmly in an unfortunate awkward phase (which I apparently have yet to emerge from) doesn't even begin to give you an idea of where I was, where I was coming from or where I was going at that particular point in life. Don't even get me started on the glasses and braces. Fortunately, I was then blissfully ignorant of my reality and convinced that I was special and destined for greatness in some way, shape or form, especially in regards to horses, simply because it was something I both loved and was supposedly good at. Talk about your childhood fantasies. I wanted to be a respected and successful horsewoman so badly. And then a few years later I began to wake up to the real world. And it didn't just suck, it was downright cruel. No equine life for me. Welcome to the cubicle, bitch. But at one point I bought Lark a leather halter with a nameplate, like the racehorses had, putting her in elite, equine-star company. It cost me about twenty-five bucks, a small fortune for me at the time. The plate had her name in large, capital letters. Underneath hers was my name, much smaller but establishing me as her owner. Her person. The one who benefitted most from our partnership, because I was clueless and had everything to learn, while she'd been there, done that and had mellowed out over the years. That's one of the great things about horses - they are "live and learn" types. A flighty, unpredictable youngster, a "handful" in earlier years (as Lark reportedly was) gains a kind of equine Zen wisdom as they mature. And by the time I got her, Lark was well into her Zen zone. Everyone used nylon halters. Lark's was red and heavy-duty. I still have it, it was in one of the boxes and now it's so badly faded you can hardly tell it was ever red or any other color but dark old dirty worn blah. But it's big and square and holding it up, I can still see that sizeable TB/QH head, with those huge liquid-brown eyes and infinitely kind and patient countenance slipping right into it. Even now, after so many years, I can see her in it. She had one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen in my life. But Lark's leather halter isn't there and I can't for the life of me figure out what happened to it. It's supposed to be there. Three goddamn moving boxes of horse equipment that I have dragged from Long Beach to Hacienda Heights to San Dimas to Playa del Rey to freaking Hollywood over more years than I care to remember, admit or even consider at this point if I want to retain some semblance of sanity. Her leather halter is gone. And to make matters worse, it was somehow lost under my watch. It's a good thing I never had kids. I'm crappy enough with my pets. Can you imagine me with children? I'd probably lose them.

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