Driving out to Eze and Tuck’s place put a smile on my face. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have anywhere to be. Everything in my life had been planned out to the minute, and now I was free. Once I actually starting think about it, fear started to well up inside of me. What was I doing? This wasn’t like me. Of course it wasn’t! That was the reason that I was doing it. I wasn’t happy with my life. I needed to find out who I was, and what I was supposed to be.
My jaw dropped when I turned over the railroad tracks and made the turn about a quarter of a mile down. There was a traffic jam!
Maybe something happened, like an accident?
It took me over thirty minutes to drive the last 3/4 of a mile to the trailer. There were cars and pickups parked along both sides of the road for as far as I could see. People were carrying ice chests, and beer, and folding chairs. This was crazy.
Someone was actually directing traffic into a pasture and charging $5 to park. I was stopped by a constable at the trailer park.
“Where are you headed mister? There’s no parking in here. You’ll have to park in the pasture, or alongside the road about a mile down.”
“I’m with Eze” I said, not knowing what else to say, or do.
“Oh, okay, well sure then! No problem, go on ahead in.” He smiled.
“Thank you sir” I said pulling down the dirt drive.
I pulled up to the trailer and parked in front, next to Eze and Tuck’s pickup trucks. My minivan definitely looked out of place. I had plans of buying me a pickup truck when I got back.
I made sure to wear jeans and a t-shirt this time, in case I needed to do anymore digging. I didn’t have any cowboy boots, but I had plans on buying a pair of those too.
Eze came outside and turned around seeing me walking up and said “Hey Pooh, did you get all of that baby oil cleaned off yet?”
I had to laugh, “Yeah, you won’t believe how everything happened after you and the girls left. I had to use some dish soap to get it everything. Having a lot of hair in certain places made it even worse.”
Eze burst out laughing, “Yeah, we got to thinking about that after they used the whole bottle on you. But I believe it created the effect we were looking for. Now you will never have to worry about that bitch anymore, and they will be singing songs about the day you came back from lunch coated in baby oil and lipstick!”
“I agree!” I said. “What are all of these people doing here now? Did you know there is a traffic jam out there?”
Eze wrapped his arm around my shoulder as we started walking to the back where the fire was. “You know Pooh, I think this thing got a little bigger than we imagined it would. Tuck told me that he wanted to have a little get together after the 4th, because everyone would be back from the holiday. So, I decided to hang out with him for an extra week or two. I needed to tie up so loose ends, and get the truck ready.”
In the fifty yards that we walked, no less then ten girls had given Eze kisses, but he continued to tell me about why he was still here, and what we needed to do before we left. “And then you showed up! I could see that you were an honest and sincere person, but lacked direction. For some reason you caught my eye. Kinda like a stray dog will tug at someone’s heart, so they pick them up. Well Pooh, you’re my stray dog! You chose me, and now we’re in like sin, Amigo!” He laughed as he slapped me on my back.
I had never thought of myself as a stray dog before. I had never owned a pet either. I didn’t know if Eze was poking fun at me again, or complimenting me. It didn’t matter, because I had lived more in the last day, then I had most of my life, and I wasn’t ready for this to end yet.
I looked around and the party had grown from several hundred to several thousand people. There were volleyball games, frisbees, horseshoes, and lots of alcohol. The original pit that we dug had grown. It was nearly a hundred degrees outside, and they still had a huge fire going.
“So, what are we doing now?” I asked Eze.
“Well, tonight is going to be Ashley and Christina’s last night in town. They’re going back home for the rest of the summer. So, I told them to come back out tonight and we would go for a ride down to the river.”
“Well, I brought the clothes and boots back that you let me borrow.” I said. “I even washed them, and wiped down your boots to make sure there wasn’t any pee on them.”
Eze smiled and shook his head as he put his hand on the back of my neck and squeezed, “You’re alright Pooh! You can use the boots until we get you a pair. You’re gonna need them tonight.”
We walked around the party for the next few hours. Eze continued to introduce me as his Amigo. I couldn’t believe how many people were here, and they all knew Eze. More kept coming too. When Eze wasn’t working the crowd, he was cooking over the fire. They had a few goats and one pig roasting along with big pots of ranch beans.
With all of the alcohol and drugs being used, I was surprised that there weren’t anymore fights. I guess that Eze and Tuck must have scared away all of the bad ones with what happened last night. I was glad because I had never been in a fight before, and was still a little shook up about how fast everything had escalated.
It was almost midnight, and I was starting to get a little sleepy when I felt someone’s hand wrap around my waist. I turned and it was Ashley. “Hey handsome, did you get all of that baby oil off?”
“I did, but it took some effort.” I said. When I turned to look, she was already winking and giggling.
Eze walked up with Christina. “Get your boots on, and come on Amigo, but be quiet about it.”
We met out front, by the pickups, and Ashley was holding my hand. Eze came up and whispered, “Follow me, but don’t say nothing at all!”
Ashley was smiling with excitement, and squeezing my hand even tighter as we snuck across the road and through some trees. We walked through a lot of trees and some pasture. I could barely see where we were going because there were no lights.
Then we came up to a barn, near where we picked up the hay bales, and there were some horses in stalls. Eze opened a door into a room and came out with a saddle and a bridle. He threw it on top of the rail and went back in, and came out with a second.
He was smiling, because I could see his white teeth. “Let’s saddle up, and be quiet about it. No talking!” He whispered.
I had absolutely no idea what to do. If I had ever ridden a horse before, it was a pony when I was maybe three, but I don’t even remember that. Eze went into the first stall and got the bit and bridle on, then led the horse out and threw a blanket over the back with the saddle. He reached under the horse a pulled a few straps and he was done.
I whispered to him, “What are we doing? I have no idea how to ride a horse, or even saddle one.”
He pulled me in close, and whispered “You’re fixin’ to find out Amigo!”
And, with that, he had the other one saddled and was leading both of the horses out to a dirt road.. He motioned for the girls to stay put, and waved me over.
“Listen,” he said, “These are good horses, but you have to act like you know what you’re doing. Take the reins from the same side that you would the steering wheel on your minivan. Put your left boot in the stirrup and climb up. Nudge with your heels when you want to go. Lightly pull the reins to each side to steer. That’s it!”
“What about stopping?” I asked.
“Why would you want to stop, when we’re just getting started? Let’s go! And be quiet about it. I don’t want to don’t get shot!”
Eze hopped on his horse and rode over to the girls. Christina climbed up behind him, and they rode away.
Get shot! What was he talking about now? I quickly tried to get on but the horse started walking away. I had my hands on the saddle horn and my boots were leaving drag marks in the sand. I kept trying to pull myself up, but I couldn’t see anything. I had no idea what to do, but I hung on to keep from getting trampled. “Whoa horse, whoa!” I kept whispering, but the horse didn’t care.
I could hear Ashley giggling as she walked over and held the bridle. The horse stopped and she began kissing it on the muzzle and whispering to it. “I guess you have never ridden a horse before either?” She said helping me stand up.
“Ma’am, I could put all of the things that I have done in my life, in one hand. I guess you can pretty much gather that I don’t account for much!” I said dejected.
“Aw Pooh, Eze sees something in you, and that’s enough for me, ’cause I see something too. So, stop beating yourself up, and let’s go!”
She was up and in the saddle before I realized it. “Put your foot in the stirrup and grab the saddle while you climb up behind me.”
I did what she told me to do, and managed to get my leg over the back of the horse without falling off.
“Now wrap your arms around my waist and hang on tight, because we need to catch up!” She said, kicking the horse into a run.
I squeezed hard because I knew that we were both going to fall off and die. But she didn’t slow down. I was bouncing up so high on the horses back that I felt like the blue balls were coming back. I remembered what Eze had said about being kicked by a mule, only this was worse. I thought that I was going to cry. “Please, slow down!” I begged, before the blue balls made their way into my throat.
“Okay, okay, Eze and Christina are just ahead.” Ashley said impatiently.
We were out on the paved road now and walking the horses away from the party. We were not under the trees any longer, so the night sky seemed brighter, and it was filled with stars. The horses kept blowing, anxious to be back in their stalls.
Eze looked at Ashley, then at me “Ride Bitch often Amigo?”
The girls laughed, and Ashley led off “Eze, you ought to be ashamed of yourself! Who steals horses with someone that’s never ridden before? The least you could have done was put him on one during daylight!”
Eze rebutted “Who and the Hell steals horses during daylight!”