Playing the Ponies- NaNoWriMo Day 1

The smell of turf and steaming manure at dawn was something that I had not experience in over fifteen years.  But smell can bring you back and bring your memories back.  I’m here looking for him.  I need to know why and how.  I need to bring that part of my life into my life now. 

I spot him, by the fence near the finish line.  As always making notes and figuring things out.  How long can one person have an obsession? How long can one person have a dream?  Where do the two intertwine and become one?

He is wearing his “office” uniform- black faded jeans, black sneakers and a shirt with a pocket.  The shirt holds his tools, his version of the briefcase.  His tools are cigs, a lighter and some pens.  There is always a cig behind his ear.  His fingertips and beard have been stained yellowish as far back as I can remember.  I take a breath and walk closer.  I have been trained to be calm, to assess and move along, keeping my wits about me.  This is hard though, this is not something anyone can tell you how to do.  How can you ask someone back in your life who left you for your own comfort?

Right before I get there, I sneak a peak over to the viewing area, there is a little girl, she is sitting and coloring.  Her mother is doing a crossword book, and her father is there.  Looking through his tickets, thinking, figuring, knowing.  Knowing his system will work, knowing one day he will have so much more to give them, to be able to play more.  There is always that drive, because without it, there would not be the regular crowd year after year.

There was a time when I wanted to be part of this life.  I wanted to be a groomer.  I love animals. I love the sound of the horses warming up and being timed.  I could work the odds out in my head and I could make some good picks, but that wasn’t where I wanted to be. This was the life I knew.  How that all changed.  And now I am coming back to bring it full circle.


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