It’s 7 AM. You know what I’m not doing right now? That’s right. I’m not feeding any horses. Not even one.
That’s because at long last I’ve hired a farm hand. My 7-year search for a person who can tell the difference between a bog spavin and a shear bolt has finally ended. Mickey moved into Bunkhouse East last weekend. And he’s feeding the horses as I write this.
Naturally I don’t know what to do with myself. Every single morning for the past 7 years I have hauled my reluctant ass out of the sack at the crack of dawn (or occasionally, if I’m honest, at 7:30 or 8), struggled into some hay-resistant clothing, bumbled out to the barnyard, and flung flakes of coastal at the herd. Then I’d shovel shit for an hour, followed by a climb up the hay stack to perform feats of strength with alfalfa. Then water bucket scrubbing, barn aisle sweeping, and “eek, a mouse” yelling (there’s always a dadgum mouse).
With this infernal morning routine so deeply ingrained, I now find myself at a loss. I’d been yearning for a reprieve from these extra-beddal sunrise chores for years, yet now that it’s finally happened, I’m in existential crisis.
“What the heck do I do with myself?” I texted my sibling, Tidy.
“Watch your iron farmer muscles atrophy,” she responded helpfully, after giving me shit about “first world problems.” Tidy is a phatphobic marathon runner with the body fat of a cheetah in winter. She suggested that I join her elite gym in Austin, so I could pay Mickey to do my exercise for me, then make a 2-hour round trip to pay a gym to replace the exercise I’m not getting anymore. Where do I sign?
For two days I sort of followed Mickey around, offering helpful advice he didn’t need (Mickey is a locally renowned horse-whisperer who has forgotten more about equines than I’ll ever know). This morning, however, I awoke to strange yet distantly familiar stirrings. Dimly aware that before having hurled myself into this pastoral abyss I’d once made something of a hobby of poetical self-expression, I suddenly remembered I had a blog. A glance out the window confirmed that my horses were contentedly chomping hay, and a glance at my hand confirmed that I had a cup of coffee. Nothing to prevent me from plopping down at the desk, blinking at the weird, bright screen, and composing some self-indulgent persiflage.
While my big guns melt into blubber.