“Horses don’t want to be glue.” my father told me, years after his death. He wasn’t frightening, the bullet hole in his head had been fixed somehow, so he was intact and calm. His Marlboros were rolled into his sleeve and he was drinking beer from a dirty glass.
That was all he said. I didn’t ask for more and had nothing to answer with. I just watched him draw his cigarette down with a precision that was almost love.
When I woke, I thought of him, near the end, when he was running for governor. He said the first thing he would do, would be to walk into Laramie Savings &Trust in blue jeans and grease stained T-shirt and wait for a teller to speak condescendingly. He would say, “Miss, did you know that I’m the Governor of Wyoming?” She would apologize profusely in this story, hoping to keep her job.
I think he must have realized that the bank teller doesn’t mend her ways, she just says what you want to hear. And that he didn’t really want to be governor any more than he’d really wanted to be a football star, an Air Force officer, a lawyer, or a father.
If he were here now, whatever else he was, he would still be angry, still be drunk, still hate his mother and accuse his wife. He would still be not good enough to make up for what his father never was.
And I knew what I would tell him, Horses don’t want to be anything but horses.