I Shoulda Been A Cowboy

I put the key in the ignition of my pickup truck to leave the parking lot of the Brookshire Brothers grocery store this afternoon and the old truck faithfully started one more time.   I am a regular customer for the blue plate special the grocery serves daily and stopped today on the way to visit my mom to pick up something for lunch.   A large newer white pickup truck caught my attention as it pulled into the parking space to my left and the driver kept the engine running.    That annoyed me because I wasn’t sure what he planned to do and backing up in parking lots has become an adventure for me since my eyesight is akin to the old cartoon character Mr. Magoo’s.   I was so preoccupied with watching the guy to my left I hadn’t once glanced to my right.   When I did, this is what I saw…

Only in Texas, I’m sure.

I had an almost uncontrollable urge to abandon my Dodge Dakota and run flying to the horse, leap in the saddle and gallop wildly out of the parking lot with the wind blowing my hair around me in swirls!   Ah, so many problems with that fantasy, though.   It’s unlikely I could run anywhere these days and certainly not a prayer of leaping into a saddle.  Ouch!   And as for the hair blowing in the wind, Brad Pitt might pull that look off, but my hair hasn’t been long enough to make a swirl since I was in grammar school many moons ago.

I shoulda been a cowboy.   Instead, I was a CPA.    A stockbroker.   A financial advisor.    A vice president of investments.   A college accounting instructor.   A church minister of music.    But never a cowboy except when I was a little girl growing up in rural East Texas and I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count.   So, today when I saw the riderless horse standing quietly next to me in the parking lot, I was reminded of the cowboy I wasn’t.

It’s okay, though.   In real life it’s much easier to ride a desk than a horse and allow books and movies and television westerns to feed my fantasies of the cowboy’s romantic nomadic existence.

Hmmm…and maybe it wasn’t the horses I was interested in anyway.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Random, Reflections and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Shoulda Been A Cowboy

  1. Bob says:

    Great piece, Shelia.


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