I can’t sugar coat this story, because the shame runs through my blood thicker than any drug I could use to numb it. When I close my eyes and try to forget, I hear the shrieks of wild horses and the hushed chatter of a faceless crowd. I toss and turn at night trying to shake off the regret, but I always find myself staring at the ceiling lying in a puddle of my own sweat. A memory of one summer forever changed the way I saw the world and the disgusting people in it. Before you hear it on the streets, or in the sheets, I’ll tell you here: I dated a horse girl.
Yeah, I’ll admit it, horses are pretty sexy. This girl, however, was not a horse, but a shy and awkward high schooler who enjoyed galloping from class to class. Her meals consisted of clumps of dried grass she fished out of gutters and raw carrots. Easily startled, any time I would approach her would warrant a disapproving snort before clip clopping off to the second floor. I knew I had to make a connection with her that transcended the normal sensitivities of human kind while still acknowledging her outer human form. I don’t know why I wanted to approach her, but she seemed so unlike any other person I had dated prior. She didn’t have a penis, and I had to flatten out my hands when I put them out in front of me to avoid getting them bit off. Her mane was ratty and unkempt. Who had been taking care of her prior to me?
One sunny afternoon, I spotted her by herself sitting on the bleachers. Every so often, she would whip her head around in aggravation to ward off flies. A funny feeling surfaced in my chest: I thought it was cute. She doesn’t even realize she can use her human hands. I saw my chance and took it; I had been carrying around a sock full of sugar cubes in case I needed to save a diabetic’s life, and decided that one of those cubes belonged to horse girl. She didn’t run off when I approached her, because I began to call her a “pretty girl” from 10 feet away in a calm, low tone. She warily eyed the sock I clutched in my hand, only to have her entire horse-like face light up with glee after the big reveal.
“Yeah, you know what this is…” I cooed to her, petting the bridge of her nose as she leaned forward to lick up the treat. She had been neglected for some time. I pulled out my hairbrush and slowly untangled her mane as she sat in satisfied silence. I had gained her trust. Before I left, she whinnied at me as if to say “thank you”, and my heart swelled with a girlish giddiness. The flame of desire was sparked, and the hay she grazed upon in the soccer field ignited a wildfire of passion.
Our dates mostly consisted of her grunting or taking a lap around an enclosed area. I purchased a special hood for her so flies wouldn’t bite her face and cleaned the dirt out of her hoof-like feet. It seemed things were coming along swimmingly, and I was preparing to introduce her to my parents. I was uneasy about it, knowing that bringing a horse girl home could warrant a family intervention, but I trusted that my parents would see in her what I did, whatever the fuck that was.
I brought her to a stable for her birthday. After eating a bowl of birthday oats, I rode her a few blocks from my house to the farm in the hopes that she would finally be comfortable enough to start doing some jumps. I had been entertaining the thought of doing competitions with horses, and assumed it was time to train. We were a good team, and I assumed that we were on point with our communication and understanding of each other’s thoughts and feelings in any situation. I had forgotten what my parents had told me the night I confessed I had been seeing horse girl:
“Horses is stupid. They got no feelings. She’ll trample your heart like a rodeo clown, she’ll devour you like salt licks on a cool spring morning.”
They say it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all. I disagree. The abnormal amount of love I felt for this majestic she-creature in contrast to the crushing pain that came afterwards still cuts through me like a hot butter knife. Even as I recall this horrifying event to you today, it feels as if I am staring at the ceiling in bed, wondering what could have been, and what I could have done to save her.
I had mounted her with ease, but she began to buck almost instantly. I heard a crackling under me, and I had realized her bones were shattering. I forgot that I had bulking for 3 years, at at 300 pounds she couldn’t support me. I couldn’t bring myself to cut the weight because I wanted to be super muscular in comparison to her. I wanted that hot horse couple aesthetic. My selfish thinking ruined everything. A crowd formed around the stable as she flopped on the dirt ground like a wounded fish. Her eyes looked up at me with a solemn sadness I can only describe as pity and defeat. She knew what I had to do, and she knew it would kill me to do it.
I carried her to her favorite spot – the abandoned park I got caught fiddling a man in. She liked how all the plant life was dead, and the dust kicked up around her when she gallivanted around the rusty swings and monkey bars. I laid her down on the softest patch of dead brush I could find, and we stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Click. Click. I blinked. The birds rattled the trees as they flew off in all directions, cawwing to each other as several shots rang out. I had to put her down. I unloaded several clips into her head and body so I knew she wouldn’t die in any more pain than she was already. Before I left, I gently brushed her mane one last time, so she would look good when she got to horse heaven.