The Embarrassment of Going Hollywood

Initially, I wasn’t going to post this as I don’t want anyone thinking I’m starting to blog endlessly about my dreams and night-terrors. However this is a good study of how my mind and guilt work on me.

A day or so ago I made a rather crude comment to a my friend Ana Alcala de Jimenez. It didn’t occur to me that I was being ungentlemanly until I dropped my head on my pillow; where much of the days events pour out keeping me from sleeping.

The following day, I apologized telling her she ‘deserves better’ and should expect better from me.’ Ana kindly accepted my apology, for which I am thankful.

The lesson in this – aside from minding my manners – is that should have made my apology right there and then. It wasn’t all that late as I generally turn in around 8 p.m.

That night I went to sleep with my planned apology rolling around in my thought-maker. It was during this time that my conscience caught up with me and let me know what a fool I am at times.

It was out back of my grandparent’s home where my mind created an imaginary corral designed with breaking rough-stock; horses that are not saddle-broke. My job was to break at least three ponies a day and that’s what I set about doing.

As I was getting on the first bronc, I noticed Ana sitting on the upper railing near the stacking post. She was a girl again – maybe 14-years-old and she smiled and waved, happy to see me.

That when I decided to go ‘Hollywood,’ (which is cowboy-speak for pretending to be like John Wayne) ride the breast by jumping in the storm-deck and not my normal technique of gentling the animal by building it’s trust in me. You can pretty well tell where this tale is heading, as I hopped in the kack and leaned back for a harder-than-it-has-to-be-ride.

Since the cayuse was saddled, and I didn’t have a single foot in either stirrup, I got gob-smacked in the face with the right one as the fender found its center of gravity – which was the opposite of mine. The blow knocked me right out of the seat and I crashed the hard dirt surface.

Having landed hard like that, in my dream I couldn’t breath, but in life I jolted myself awake. I laid there for a long while thinking about that dream before I finally fell back asleep.

In the end I drew the conclusion that I don’t need to be a show-off to impress my friends, including Ana; I need to be true to myself and do, not only what is right, but what’s expected of me as well.

One last thing – happily I learned this my dream and not out on the ranch. I am pretty sure having a stirrup smash me in the side of the head like that would have left more than a mark by stoving-in my personal think-tank.

Stupidity is never a pretty sight.

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Tom Darby

Former radio personality and newspaper reporter

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