The Horse You Rode In On

Today’s Daily Prompt:

What’s the biggest chance you ever took? Did it work out? Do tell!

The biggest chance I ever took was riding that horse, Sebastian.

He was a mean one; he’d rather bite your hand off than let you touch him. And kick! Boy, he would kick the face right off your head!

But he was a horse, and I decided one Tuesday that I would ride him if it was the last thing I did.

i spent the next four months trying to make friends, but Sebastian wouldn’t give me any more of a chance on the hundred and twelfth day than he did on the first day. He hated me, but I loved him.

I never cared about any horse like I did Sebastian, but then, I never spent near the time with any other horse like I did him, neither. 

I think he was like that thing they say about beer, you know, an acquired taste. I just saw him so much, I got used to him, and after I got used to him, I respected him.

I never respected nothing without loving it at least a little bit.

So four months went by, and I knew Sebastian still didn’t want me to ride him, but I knew him as well as he knew himself, as much as a horse knows himself. I knew when he was gonna bite me, and I knew when he was gonna kick me.

Saddling him up was always a dance, and always an adventure. He got plenty of nips and taps in before I got his number. 

See this scar? That was day one. And this one? Day seventeen. And here, this one? Day forty. See how they got smaller? I was on to his tricks.

It was another Tuesday that I decided today was the day. We did our dance and I got him all saddled up and outside. Nothing out of the ordinary yet.

But as soon as I lifted my foot for that stirrup, Sebastian knew what my game was. I knew his game, though, and kicked up and over before he could take off a couple fingers, like he wanted to do.

I was on him, and he hated that more than anything he’d ever hated. He started bucking and kicking and trying to shake me off. 

And he won that round.

I’m in this wheelchair ’til I die because of the chance I took, but for that brief moment, I rode Sebastian.

Just not very far.


Going On Seventeen

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Tell us all about the person you were when you were sixteen. If you haven’t yet hit sixteen, tell us about the person you want to be at sixteen.

When I was sixteen…my husband was nine.

We always have such a laugh about the 80s and 90s because of our seven-year age difference.

But no, that’s not the topic at hand. 

When I was sixteen…oh. That’s the year I changed. I started out sweet and shy and studious and straight as an arrow. 

And innocent.

By the time my seventeenth birthday rolled around, I was still mostly shy. But I was also angry and apathetic and angsty. 

I was raped when I was sixteen, and that’s a pretty shit thing to happen to a girl. Or to anyone. I didn’t tell anyone; I didn’t have anyone to tell. My mother would have blamed me. She would still blame me, if I told her today. 

I was angry about that, about being raped and about how I knew I would be treated because I’d seen it happen to other girls. Even though I wore hoodies and jeans and off-brand Timberlands and not much makeup at all. I was a girl, and I went to the wrong school.

And then I didn’t care anymore for a while, but sometimes I wanted to care. 

We rolled the school once, and it was amazing. The cool kids invited me and included me and treated me like a person. I cared that day, and it felt good. I cared when we all got in trouble, because I was part of something, instead of just the quiet girl who slept in class. The principal called us all into the auditorium, because there was about thirty of us, and he saw me. I know it was because he had never seen me before.

That was a good day.

We got evicted when I was sixteen; that was my fault, indirectly. I used to be friends with a girl downstairs whose mother was friends with the apartment manager. We fought, and her mother complained about me enough, and lied about me enough, that we had to find somewhere else to live. She said I would walk up and down the street drunk.

I didn’t; it was still a few months before I started binge drinking. 

But the week of Thanksgiving we did not visit my stepfather’s family as planned; we moved. And we had Short Stop burgers for Thanksgiving dinner.

This sounds so horrible, but it wasn’t, really. Not as much as it sounds now. 

I had my little brother. He was two, and he was amazing. He was so adorable and wet-chinned. We were besties.

I spent three weeks of my summer at nerd camp, taking Expository Writing, typing up essay after essay to voluminous praise.

I don’t need sixteen back, though. Twenty-two was so much better.


Local Excitement

A short while ago, we heard a gunshot. Well, we thought it was a gunshot, and my mom’s dog came running out of her bedroom to find some people to make her feel safe. We do live outside city limits, so it happens.

Ian went outside to have a look and came back in to tell me that someone shot a skunk. By then, I could smell it, faintly. Poor Amber the dog was pretty scared.

I went to sit on the porch with Ian and my stepdad, and we discussed whether or not someone had called the cops and whether we should call the landlord in the morning, because Ian noticed that there were some drunks outside having a good time at the RV park a couple houses down.

There was another noise, and I saw a flash reflected in a window across the street. We never found out what that was.

The skunk smell was fading, and we saw a truck pull up and stop at our corner, the opposite side of the RV park. It backed up, then pulled forward again and I recognized it as belonging to the volunteer firefighter who lives on the street behind us. I said we didn’t need to worry about calling the cops because he certainly had.

A few minutes later, the cops started showing up. I’m not sure exactly how many cars ended up on our street, but we had a couple of cruisers, an SUV, an ambulance, and Rescue 2 (as Ian said, we’re big time now, got two rescue vehicles).

We heard the party calm down, and the classic COPS sound of beer bottles rattling together as they threw them away. Remind me to tell you about the drunk driver who almost ran over Ian and two of our friends a few years ago. They talked, but we couldn’t hear clearly. An officer went across the street to talk to someone.

Another cop showed up and cleaned out his backseat, putting bags in the trunk, so we figured he was there to take someone to jail. He was; they didn’t put the guy in the car until after the ambulance and Rescue 2 left, possibly with someone, we don’t know.

I came inside, but Ian called me out again to tell me that they’d taken two guns from a guy and were examining them, a handgun and a shotgun. Apparently there was another gunshot as well, so now we have deputies walking the yards with flashlights. We’ll have to check the news tomorrow to find out what happened.

And fortunately, Amber has gotten over her fear, and is now bouncing around begging for treats.

And there’s no more skunk smell.

I think we’re doing pretty well: this is the first excitement of this kind that we’ve had since we moved her in January.


And Another

Last week I mentioned to Ian that I wanted a second nose piercing. You know how that went. Today he took me to the shop to get it. 

I am in love. Seriously. I spent a good bit of time in the mirror this weekend turning my head, wondering if I had enough space for a second piercing. I think it looks awesome.

He periscoped almost the entire visit. Does anyone else have Periscope? It’s super fun. Well, it can be. If you find someone entertaining. Or if you be entertaining. Which I do not be, sorry. I don’t talk to myself enough to be comfortable feeling like I’m talking to myself. I’m not good at keeping up a running commentary.

You know who’s a hit on Periscope from this house? Waffles. 

 But I mean, just look at him. He’s very handsome. We’ve gotten tons of hearts scoping that Waffles.


DIY for Dummies

“Hon, the dishwasher’s on the fritz again. I jiggled the tube like last time, but that didn’t work. Can you take a look at it when you get a chance?” Meredith asked her husband Ron.

Ron was busy watching Top Gear, but he absently nodded and tossed another peanut into his open mouth. “Sure thing.”

Two days later, Meredith groaned as she reached to open the dishwasher and realize that Ron hadn’t gotten around to it yet. “Ron, the dishwasher?” Her tone meant now, and Ron knew it.

He didn’t even grumble as he capped his jar of peanuts and walked into the kitchen.

“Thanks, babe,” said Meredith, on her way out of the room.

Ron grunted an unintelligible response as he leaned down and opened the cabinet underneath the sink to have a look. He tried jiggling the tube, in spite of Meredith’s assurance that she had done so, but she was right, that didn’t work this time. He checked to make sure all of the connections were secure; they were.

He crawled out from under the cabinet and slid over a bit to open the dishwasher and check inside. Fortunately, Meredith had emptied the dirties and washed them by hand, so he fiddled a bit with the sprayer before sitting back and cocking his head.

“What’s it doing, Mere?” he asked.

“Not cleaning. I think the heating element is out, because the dishes get wet, but they’re cold when it shuts off,” she replied.

“Hmm,” said Ron. He closed the dishwasher and looked at the settings. All good. This was turning out to be more work than he expected.

Ron got up and grabbed a tool bag from the hall closet. When he got back to the kitchen, he unscrewed the dishwasher from the countertop and pulled it out of its cubbyhole. There was a slightly crimped wire sticking out of the back, unattached to anything. Ron assumed this was the likely culprit, so he quite intelligently unplugged the dishwasher before touching the wire.

It seemed to have come loose from a small connection, so after a quick once-over, Ron got out the soldering iron and stuck the poor little wire where he thought it went. He plugged the machine back in and switched it on. After a few seconds he opened the door to check, and sure enough, the water was warm as toast. He pushed the whole thing back into place, replaced the screws, wiped his hands on his pants, and called it a day.

The next evening Meredith was scooping them each a bowl of ice cream after cleaning up the dinner dishes. When she turned to drop the ice cream scoop in the sink, she noticed a funny smell, and an awful lot of steam coming from the dishwasher.

“Hon, I thought you said the dishwasher was fixed,” she called toward the living room, one eye on the ever-increasing steam bath rising to the ceiling.

“Yeah, it should be good to go. I thought you already started a load, anyway,” Ron replied.

Meredith bit the bullet and cautiously opened the dishwasher mid-cycle. The handle was extremely hot.

“Hon, what I actually need to do is wash the dishes, not fire them like they’re in a kiln. My grandmother’s plates are browned at the edges,” she said.

Ron knew that the rest of the week would not be a pleasant one. He spent the rest of the evening searching the internet for a plumber with a good review and reasonable rates.

***

Meredith eventually got over the loss of her heirloom china, and things were back to normal in the household when the thermostat went out five weeks later.

Since Ron had installed that one six years earlier, Meredith didn’t have a problem with him replacing it. What she didn’t know was that Ron found an extra wire in the wall that he didn’t bother mentioning.

The truth came out when she heard a noise in the middle of the night. Suspecting the cat had gotten into something he wasn’t supposed to get into, she flipped on the hall light and noticed an odd glow coming from the bathroom. It didn’t really register, though, as the cat was merrily destroying her knitting basket.

She took the basket away from him and headed back to bed, but on her way, she noticed a suspicious warmth coming from under the bathroom door.

“Hon? Did you leave the sunlamp on in the bathroom again?” she asked Ron.

He didn’t wake enough to answer her question, so she just flipped the switch and went back to bed.

The next morning they woke drenched in sweat. The thermostat wasn’t fixed, Meredith noted with a grimace.

“Must have been a faulty one,” said Ron. “I’ll take it back and swap it out after work.”

Meredith turned the hall light on to get a better look at the thermostat. “You jerk, it’s on heat, and in July, for crying out loud!”

Ron was in the bathroom, and suddenly remembered the extra wire. He looked up, and sure enough, even though he hadn’t turned it on, the sunlamp was beaming down on him.

He sheepishly called to Meredith.”I think I know what the problem is. But the upside is when we turn on the the hall lights, the sun lamp comes on.”

“I’m going to stay with my sister until this house is air conditioned,” Meredith sighed, and went to pack a bag.

***

Meredith’s sister Tabitha was used to Ron’s shenanigans, and had plenty of stories of her own to share.

“Do you remember when we had that sinkhole at the old house? That was directly Nathan’s fault,” she told Meredith.

“No! I can’t believe you never told me this one before! What happened?” Meredith was dying to hear it.

“Okay, Have you seen that infomercial where they flush all the burritos?” Tabitha asked. Meredith nodded. “Nathan put that new toilet in the guest bathroom and wanted to give it a shot. That man brought home three packages of frozen burritos and threw them right in without thawing them first. Not that I would have been okay with that, but you know, put some thought into it, right?”

Meredith was already shaking with laughter.

“Anyway, of course they got stuck. Of course, right? And we had to open up the entire basement to take care of it.”

“I’m so glad Ron hasn’t tried to flush golf balls or burritos!” Meredith laughed.

“Oh, no,” said Tabitha. “That’s not the end of it. He left a bag of something in the basement. He still won’t tell me what it was. But he poured concrete over it for the new floor, and then, about two months later, his sister was visiting. You know Amber was five then, and smart as a whip.”

“She’s just like us when we were that age,” Meredith interjected.

“I know!” Tabitha agreed. “Anyway, the floor had cracked right in half the day before she got there, and it was all Amber could talk about, until her aunt got there. She started drawing pictures of the horrible basement floor!”

Meredith was loving this story. “Seriously? And you never told me this!”

“I know, I know. So Nathan’s sister is mystified by these drawings of what looks like black lightning. Amber got her artistic talent from me, unfortunately. She finally asks what Amber’s been drawing all day. My daughter politely smiled and told her embarrassed aunt, ‘That’s OK. We’ll just say it was inspired by a massive earthquake.’ “

I highly recommend you check out today’s prompt at The Blog Propellant. Very entertaining basis for it.


Go Team Zombae!

What a long day!

Not really, but my feet are feeling it tonight. 

First there was general morning stuffs.

Then my friend came over for me to do her cosplay makeup:  

 Purple cornstarch gets sweaty, y’all. Fair warning.

Then I worked for six whole hours. And a few minutes. 

When I closed up, I stopped by the store to pick up some chicken for chicken and dumplings before I rushed home to catch the rest of the NYX Face Awards.

I got to see the last three of six videos, but out of those, I was seriously rooting for PatrickStarrr.

But Mykie won, which is cool too.

And the chicken and dumplings was delicious. For me, at least. I finished Ian’s bowl. He may have only agreed to the meal because he’s been saying no to it every time I ask for over a year now.


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