Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Senior Sex(less) and the City: #16

The Cowboy
We’d met once about a year earlier, so we hugged warmly. Old friends in singles group world. We were eating at a restaurant where the fare was a bit tricky. My buddy—a somewhat solicitous man—asked me if I’d like some help with it. I asked him about something he was eating. Here, he said, try some. I couldn’t eat my potatoes; did he want them? We exchanged. Later, a friend asked me something about my date. Date? I assured her that I barely knew the guy. But it made me realize how easily I’d fallen into that old-married-couple interaction with this man. Odd how emotionally attracted I am to that calm, masculine energy, that ruggedness, yang to my yin. A cowboy quality.

I was reared in Nebraska. Reared in the city, but still, a part of me knew this man, knew that he knew horses and dust and how to cup a cigarette in callused fingers, flicking the ash like a small gunshot. I knew he could mend a fence and casually lean on it as he pulled the hat down to shade his squinting eyes. I could feel without touching the dryness of his hands and the stubble on his chin.

And he sensed, in turn, that I have learned to sniff the air around people, easy to spook. He knew to move smoothly, self-assuredly, not too suddenly, so I don’t bolt. He quickly had me—a separate species, really—eating out of his hand.

But helpful very quickly seemed to turn…patronizing. Is there a time in life when condescension is ever truly appropriate? I can’t think of one. Even my father was never patronizing, bless him, as the truly great never are. Those little digs cut like spurs.

Snort. Gallop.


  1. I love the horse metaphor but then I love this entire series you are doing. :) And yes I hate it when that happens. snort, giggle, gallop :D
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  2. Gosh you're good, and way too good for some of your, ahem, dates.

  3. Ooooh, he sounded like my kind of guy until that last part. Drat. There's always something...


  4. Tammy--I just HAVE to know...Are you fabricating this (you're way too young to be a "senior")? Are these stories going to be published somewhere besides your blog (they're too good to just share via the internet)?

    I loved the ending. So abrupt and apt. And I loved the simile comparing the digs to spurs.

    A chapbook? An anthology? Are you working on it already, and I'm just behind (god knows I have wide behind), or do you need someone next to you, armed with an electric cattle prod?

  5. Hey Sioux, I can answer all of those...I agree, I agree, I agree!! LOL

  6. Thanks, Jules! And I almost had the word "giggle" in there, too. Funny!

    Thanks, Linda and Pat!! He really was nice at first (and nice looking)! I know there IS always something, but why does it have to be HUGE?!

    Thanks, Sioux--and Becky for agreeing--for the very sweet comments. I guess I'm not really a senior yet, but "middle aged" just doesn't sound right with anything. I had to look up what a chapbook was...and I appreciate (?!) your offer of a cattle prod! Unfortunately you have to have a destination in mind for it to work, or else you just wander in circles getting zapped...which pretty much describes my life now that I think about it....


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