Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Money on the Little Guy

The telephone alarm bleats in the main basin, blue spark flashing in case we can’t hear it. We always hear it. Jeff plants his palm against his hip, anchoring the keys that swing from his belt, and lopes down the concrete walk between basins. I’m left holding a wrench and an aluminum cake pan full of dirty oil, watching him bounce along at a steady pace -- one hand in a fist at his waist, head high, back straight -- and it occurs to me that I’ve never seen him run before. Now I know why. He’s a very animated person, so I often see him spin quickly or rock on his heels in agitation, but running is not something extremely bowlegged cowboys do gracefully. I wait, tapping the wrench until I hear him return, all whistle and jingle at a jaunty amble.

I find everyday things about Jeff amazing. Candace says the new bay (horse) they bought gets a little rowdy with her, but she described how Jeff handles him. “He just knows how they think, and he just thinks one step ahead of them. When the bay balks he just grabs him by the jaw and gives him that look, and he settles right down.” Jeff talks about “working in the barn” and the rain today making his “anvil slick,” and sometimes when it’s quiet at the plant he sharpens a knife the likes of which I have never seen, a thick, tapered, hammered thing with a vicious hook at the end. He buys eight different varieties of nails and buckets of toxic chemicals and sometimes the vet calls him instead of the other way around.

He’s been complaining lately that his new Wranglers are too tight because Candace bakes almost every day and he gets no exercise in the winter. Today he made over a dozen appointments to shoe horses before the weekend. He’ll be back in those skinny jeans in no time.


Blogger You Know Who said...

Pic of the knife! pleeeeeease!

March 29, 2006 at 7:26 PM  
Blogger A said...

When you post, I will.


March 29, 2006 at 8:19 PM  

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