“I want to be a cowboy, but only long enough to barge into a saloon and bellow ‘Where’s the yellow belly that stole my happy trail?'” — Jared Kintz
I used to occasionally catch a western with my dad (typically while he was changing channels and got hooked by something John Wayne or Lee Marvin or Clint Eastwood was doing). My love of horses made it impossible to watch any of the scenes which intimated that they were uncomfortable or angry in anyway. But galloping through an open field? I’d watch and put myself in that saddle. Slamming one’s body into the swinging door of a bar and with one look rendering a crowded room silent? Oh yeah. There’s a new sheriff in town and her name is Mimi (ok, I have to change that).
I also wanted to be the next Barbra Streisand, but that’s a story for another day.
And come up with the formula for world peace – I’m still working on that one.
“Where’s the yellow belly who stole my happy trail?” How awesome it would be if one could point a gloved finger at that varmint.
You know where I’m going with this – who would you point your finger at? Ain’t no one there, darn it, unless one is looking in the mirror.
We steal our happiness all the time. That interlude between moments that is so easily sabotaged by our confusion or displeasure, asserting that we are the victims of circumstance, a person, a poor choice. The thought that I am that yellow belly is anathema to me. And yet. Once again the duality of our humanity makes itself known. We are both fearless and petrified; hell-bent and heaven seeking. Bartender, just leave me the bottle.
The older I get, the more I realize that this is the town I rode into. The trail is far more littered with wildflowers than dead bodies (figuratively speaking – I am a cowboy without a gun). I have undermined my sense of self-worth far more than anybody else, the amount I have gambled reflects my own fear and ambivalence, my delights have been incredible, my pain has been fierce. And they’ve all been mine.
Every cowtown I’ve ever lived in has offered food, shelter, employment, sunshine. So I’ve had the ridiculous luxury of feeling lousy over things that are dreams for many in this world. So why would I self-sabotage my happy trail? Because sometimes it’s the easier choice. Sometimes, it’s far easier to think “yeah, but…”. The problem of course is that there is no happy ending with that script. One rides off into a barren field, head down – defeated by one’s self. And that just isn’t the way any movie should end.
So I get up on my horse, settle my butt into a well-worn saddle and look at the horizon with a delicious sense of the possible. I nicker to my horse and we ride..while I sing “People”. Must be the reason why I never made it in show business.