Alone on the Ranch – by Tymothy L. Smith

We sat here, on this, our porch, all those balmy evenings. Not talking, no need to really, no need to do nothin’. Anyhow, we were usually too tired to talk after such long hard days. The horse would buckle or the hay would be wet; such is the life on the ranch, such was our life on this ranch.

I haven’t allowed myself to miss you until now. Not sure what prompted it, not sure what brought it on. But I miss you, miss your smell, miss the way you would saunter in like John Wayne, pull my pants down and call me Injun. ‘Boys, we got us an erection over here!’

Perhaps it is these endless twilights that call me to you, or perhaps you are nearer, I don’t know, don’t know to say. I’ve never been one for the spiritual, my momma would go on and on with her ‘holy’ book in the air, but she was just as crazy as any, more so, in fact.

Still, I feel you when the warm air mixes with the sweet sage and your breath finds mine.

I stand to try and shake it off, shake you off, but it doesn’t work. I light a cigarette and breathe it into the air as though it is some sort of vague offering, ‘I wonder where you’re at Jim, I wonder that,’ I hear myself say.

You used to tease me here, out in the nowhere, where judgments and bias couldn’t find us; you used to say, ‘You take them far too seriously, they are just jealous.’ And I didn’t believe you, never believed you. But now, perhaps there is a slight crack in me and I can feel what you meant.

I hold the whiskey bottle up, like you used to, appraising the golden brown, pour too much in the tumbler and take it down before I think the better of it. It offers some warmth to my belly, and for that I’m grateful.

I sit back down, take my hat off, wipe off the dirt that has stuck to it from the day. I light another cigarette, not finishing the first, and try to think of something else.

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Tymothy L. Smith.  Just a guy who likes to write and read, unfortunately (or fortunate depending on your perspective) his attention spans that of a field mouse, and thus he confines his literary excursions to flash fiction, hoping one day to find that he has written the great American novel.

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