The Death Horse

December 17, 2020

“Hey, honey, do you have a minute?” I peek my head into the office/study.

“Sure,” he says. “Lemme finish this scan first. It’s pretty crazy.”

I am smart enough to let him be when he calls a scan “crazy,” because usually someone has something incredibly weird and terrible or else they’ve shoved something completely random into their bum. Life of a radiologist. Medical training doesn’t exactly focus on random things shoved up the arse, but my husband is a pro. Happens more than you’d think. People are such mysteries.


“Okay, I’m done.” he says. “What’s up?”

“So hey,” I say. “Is it okay if we have a weekend guest soon?”

He raises an eyebrow. Then he looks at my face and sees that I’m serious.

“Jesus. Okay. Who we got now? How many kids?”


Luckily, no kids this time as Annie is a heck of a lot younger than me. It is a little odd, if you think about it, to invite people you’ve met only virtually into your own home when you are “meeting” them for the first time. But my husband is now used to it.

I mean, how else am I supposed to meet someone who lives states away?

You meet a potential friend in the neighborhood and you can just spend a half hour at a coffeeshop before you declare that you have a lot of (invented) errands to run and hope that they don’t think you are too much…something…for them. It’s mildly nerve-wracking but easy.

This? Not easy. But I am game because it’s Annie and we are attending a photography workshop all weekend. Annie promises me that I’m going to learn “a bunch of good stuff” and we both know my photos are garbage and the best thing that can happen to me is learning good stuff.


I arrive at the airport but it’s confusing because I don’t know what she looks like, really. Her avatar (hey, I learned what it is!) shows her only in side-view. So I am really familiar with her windfall of hair and the line of her jaw and that’s about it. She knows what I look like because I have no sense of mystery and I’ve told her to look for the gangly one in the Blondie t-shirt.

But when I see her, I just know it’s Annie. No question about it. One look and we make a beeline for each other. I make a hell of a lotta noise. We laugh and we hug and both of us start talking immediately because we’re flustered but in the best kind of way.


Driving out, we laugh at the strange design of our airport, which I think was meant to look like mountaintops but in reality, it looks like titties made out of meringue.

“Just you wait,” I say. “The Death Horse is coming.” She gives me the eyeball but she smiles, can’t help it.

If you’ve never been to Denver International Airport there is a humongous statue of a blue stallion with Hades lights for eyes waiting a mile or so from the terminal. It is rather horrifying, especially at night. It is especially horrifying because said humongous demon stallion FELL on the artist as he was putting the finishing touches on it. Smashing him flat. Toten. Bye Bye. Art kills the artist. Literally.


“Why am I not surprised that you have a death horse and you know all the gory details,” Annie says.

“Hey, I didn’t kill the dude, not my fault,” I laugh. “But yes, it is a wonderment.”

“How are the girls?” she asks. “Tell me about them.”


Do I dare tell her? Maybe I’mma let that one sit. She will know soon enough.


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