I’ve never been a big horse guy. Something about the way their lips move away from their teeth to grab carrots doesn’t sit well. Hard to trust an animal whose lips act like fingers. Your lips should always be within a couple centimeters of your teeth. I also don’t particularly care for their temperament. Do they actually want to be ridden? Of course not. People who run horseback riding businesses will sell you down the river on what their horses want. “That’s their job” they say. “They want to do their job.” Maybe Judy, but their job used to be eating dandelions and cumming gallons atop multiple partners every day. Then you came along and turned them into ATVs. I’m no horse doctor, but I’ll bet they prefer the old way.
Even so, this is the right time to buy a horse. When rivers rise and wash away the highways, byways, and bike paths; when the government ceases to maintain the many routes that connected our towns, who will know the world then? I’ll tell you who: people who bought in to the horse game early.
When that day comes, I will ride Jacob into towns with my head down, weary from the journey but ever alert, scanning out of the corners of my eyes. Mothers in frilly dresses usher the little ones inside. What few men remain know better than to come forth. They throw down bags of salted pork and bullets, offering their tithes in deference to my reputation, the way it was for Omar. We’re offered a stable with a comfortable straw tick for the night, but we prefer to make camp outside of town. Bandits cut a wide swath around us. I once killed a man with a Chase Sapphire card. “No foreign transaction fees,” I whispered as his throat slowed to a trickle.
At night, I build fires and roast beans in bacon grease over an old skillet. Jacob curls up next to me, more dog than horse. I stroke his face with a pine cone and tell him about high school dances, Halloween, Rafael Nadal on clay. Then we paint our own constellations among the stars as we fade to sleep.
Lots of miles to cover tomorrow.