...quiet, about a lot of things...
Sunday, August 27, 2006
She'd rehearsed her opening line in the shower, in the mirror and in the car. She had carefully picked out an outfit that was casually elegant,but not forced. She looked "put together" but not primped. She hated looking like she had tried too hard.
She told her self she would be breezy tonight. She would hold her glass just so, and remember to tilt her head ever so slightly when she laughed. She would be fine. She told herself...she would be fine.
Cars were already spilling out onto the streets when she arrived. She was fashionably late...well at least that's what they had called it in California, where she came from. Here, she was afraid, here was more Bible Belty...and here,she was just plain old late. Driving her pick up between the other (on time) trucks was like threading a needle, but somehow she managed to squeeze through. The last truck, was a familiar one. Her favorite vet...she made sure to leave him plenty of room to get out...Just in case.
She could hear the party in full swing up on the hill. The big white tent made it official. Walking slowly up the gravel drive towards the noise..of people, she listened to her timing of footfalls. The sun was just starting to slant in the sky...and she hadn't brought her sunglasses. Squinting, she paused, took two more steps...and then turned quickly for the barn. She would "just check the horses water" before she went up, she told herself. It would just take a minute.
The slow chewing of the horses filled her ears, drowning out her foot steps. Rows and rows of jaws and muzzles and hay and breathing. Contentment filled the air. Dinner time was heaven and heaven was good. She walked to his stall and stopped.
He was never surprised to see her. He looked up at her and sniffed for peppermints. Smelling nothing promising, he went back to his eating. She thought of going in and sitting on his manger as he ate. She loved to listen to him chew. So simple, yet complete was his happiness at having hay. He'd finished his grain long before she got there. The horses always got fed..on time. She reached to undo the latch, and stopped. She had a skirt on...she had put makeup on,and her shoes weren't meant for sawdust. Time to face the music.
As she turned to leave, a voice behind here startled her. She looked up and saw him leaning two stalls down.
"The people are...that a way.." He grinned, pointing up hill. She immediately felt herself start to blush. Her eyes went from him to the floor in an instant. He waited for her to reply. She sensed his eyes watching her, seeing her. She had practiced her opening line in the mirror and in the car and in her head, but now she felt like she had swallowed a bubble.
"Just a quick check..." she managed to finally sputter. She glanced over at her horse..who seemed slightly intrigued...that or he could smell the difference about her..the tension, the adrenaline in her breath. He snorted out..and then was back to the hay. " I like to check the water..."
"They're automatic.. the waterers...aren't they?" He quipped, cocking his head ever so lightly. He straightened up as she started to walk by.
He was impossibly tall as she passed him, her cheeks burning, her eyes on her feet, willing them to move forward. "Don't trip," she thought. "Please, DO NOT TRIP!" She couldn't answer his question...she could only kind of giggle..and she forgot to tilt her head.
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