Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007 @ 11:51 am
On Carriage Driving
Some moments I am so happy. With Patrick, riding down the trail. Fallen orange maple leaves carpeting the soft brown path, bright green ferns and thick moss drape the understory, and dappled sunshine shimmers across Patrick's back, my face. I've ridden without a saddle for a couple weeks now, and I feel safer than ever, trusting his warm wide back.
And I watch other wide grey backs from the driver's seat of the carriages. Late into the night, driving the horses past busy shops, buskers, and into the depths of darkest Chinatown. Along the edge of the ocean, where fog condenses on my face; my nose runs with the cold. I meet people from Texas and Scotland, from Ontario and Georgia, from Chilliwack. Some I like, some I hate. I hate my fake smile, my fake conversation, trying to make thick people interested in history or ecology. As soon as I mention the Songhees their eyes glaze over. Thinking about lunch or their dog, I suppose.
People yell at me too. A girl, young tough girl, probably vegetarian, yells: Wow, that horse looks dead on the inside. And lights up a cigarette, avoiding my eyes as I watch her walk down the sidewalk into the Joint. Taxi drivers hate me, cutting me off. Men in big trucks shout at me to move over, so quick to judge a situation without observing that I might need to be in a certain lane at the upcoming intersection.
Can I defend myself? No. I take it all inside and hate myself. I know that the horses are loved, well fed, not overworked. But is that true? I can't sleep at night, frantic dreams of being late, of crashing my carriage, losing my lines. All things that come so close to happening while on tour.
In the humming glow of the cruise ships, I unharness Zeke. I brush down his dapple grey body, creating a snowstorm with his shedding summer coat. He turns to look at me as I walk away, his lower lip quivering. His trust in me is incalculable.
I told Daniel that he doesn't make me feel very loved. I couldn't continue to live unloved. I have to find out if I'm wasting my time.