I’m stepping into a great big backyard. It’s familiar, yet new to me. It stretches on farther than I can see. It’s nice. I notice in the middle of the yard, there’s a small trailer. It makes me nervous because it looks…a little damaged. As I approach it, I can hear breathing sounds, quickening. There is a small window. I look in. I connect eyes briefly with a wild stallion and as soon as it sees me it panics. Jumping, kicking in the trailer. I fall backwards and then stumble up and away from the trailer.
Sitting on the porch I stare at the trailer. I can see it moving. The horse is pacing. I’m wondering what to do about it. I ignore it. I walk around it as far as possible, but I can’t stop thinking about it. At night I can hear the sounds.
So I throw a party. Loud music. Lots of people. There’s some caution tape around the trailer so no one gets hurt. And…for a moment…Yes! The sound is drowned. I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a while. To keep it up, I drink, I laugh, I get a little reckless. Until I pass out.
But then the people are gone. The music has died. The drinks are out. And I can hear the horse and it’s angry. I’m angry. I can’t sleep, I can’t be free.
But I also have kerosene. I don’t know what this horse’s problem is, but it won’t calm down: I don’t really have a choice. Don’t judge me; I’m putting it out of its misery. As I pour the fuel around the trailer, the horse kicks wildly. The trailer may collapse before I’m done.
I watch the flames safely from the porch. I don’t know if I should say some words or something, but I wouldn’t know what to say. I didn’t even know its name. The trailer was moving, but now it isn’t. I feel sad.
The sadness kept me up all night, but the dawn’s light gives me hope. Smoke rises from the burnt out trailer which is still pretty intact. I approach slowly. Why am I so scared? As peer around the corner I’m breathless; I hear nothing inside.
But I see them. Eyes, open and sad but fierce. It kicks and neighs; I scream and recoil. Backwards, I fall.
I must have hit my head. I’m on the ground and I slowly realize I’ve been lying just a few feet from a wild creature trapped in an attempted murder site. As my eyes regain focus they fall upon the horse’s eyes. It’s lying down, but its head is raised. I never noticed how beautiful its eyes are. There’s fire still in them.
I climb to my feet. So does the horse. I slowly approach. It breathes faster. Its knees are quivering and I realize mine are too. I can feel the hair on the back of my neck. It breathes loudly and I want to run. I have to run.
But I don’t. I just stay. As I keep breathing, I notice its scars. They’re from me. It hurts me to look at them. But I keep looking at them. The horse keeps breathing, too.
I stay. It hurts, but I stay. I just…stay.
I’ve lost track of time, but…sometime…later I notice the door on the back of the trailer. I do something risky: I unlock it. The horse watches me. I throw open the door and light streams in. The horse shivers and watches me.
It trusts me, so I climb on and we ride out together into the great country that surrounds us, faster than I could ever go on my own, feeling a dangerous wildness and an exhilarating trust.