A Cup of Coffee--August 15, 2001

By Sean Clancy
From The Saratoga Special, reprinted with permission

"Who do we think we are, Superman?" That's what one editor asked today as he received another phone call asking for something, or requesting something, or suggesting something. The arms went up, the phone went down, and another moment of pure exasperation came and went through this office.

Superman's doing the best he can, I'll say that. Ain't no capes in this office.

We do a paper a day, some are maiden claimers (this one for sure), others are allowance horses, sometimes we even lead a stake horse over there.

We're halfway through the meet and we're feeling it. I slept from noon to four on Monday afternoon and from eight to noon on Monday night/Tuesday morning. How do I feel now? Wishing for Tuesday again.

We haven't exercised since we started this runaway train (other than chase stories and throw papers). We haven't eaten anything but pizza and cereal in three weeks. We've spent more nights on the office floor than we have in a clean bed. The washing machine won't spin. I shaved with just a razor blade (no handle part) for the third time this week. Our business manager had to go home for a funeral. Joe's wife went home for one too and had the baby's pacifier chewed up in the metal detector (I kid you not).

So be careful when you call and ask us why we haven't called.

Now I'm rambling on again about the state of the paper. Need to rally, troops. Need to rally.

What I need most is a ride. Just go for a ride on a horse. That's what I need more than anything. For those of you who ride, or at least started out riding for fun, you know what I mean.

Where's Doubledarn when I need him? Or Succeed? Or Cage? Or Student? Or Patches? Red? They took me away to better places.

Maybe some people get in their Corvette. Or other people get on their Schwinn. Or others go rollerblading. Maybe skateboarding. Might hop in their head. I need a horse. That's what I need.

Nothing like going for a ride on a horse. They don't care what your last paper looked like. They don't give advice. They don't care if you haven't called in a week. They never once look you in the eye and say, "Gee, honey, I wish you wouldn't do that." Never once lean over and say, "Dear, could you please take the trash out." Never once roll their eyes at you. Never once stomp out of the room when you have too many beers. Never once ask how they look. Never once ask for money, hugs, or even your opinion. They don't care if you talk to other horses or even flirt with other horses.

They just go the way you point them. Now, that's a novelty. What a party trick. Steer left, they go left. Steer right, they go right. Stop, they stop. Go, they go. (At least the ones I'm talking about). The Haps of the world. I've had a few in my life (Doubledarn, Succeed, Cage, Student, Patches, Red).

Now I haven't been on a horse in probably three months. It finally dawned on me today, I miss it. People ask me all the time, do you ride anymore. I say, no I retired in November. They say, yeah but do you ride anymore, like for fun. It's been so long that I thought about it like that. Ride for fun, damn there's an idea.

Just ride long, sit deep in the saddle, kick along the trail. Wave to people. Drift away from this reality that has us down. Pet the horse. See the sun rise. Neck rein a little. Feel the clomp of steady feet. Find a new path. Let the horse pick some grass. Wander over and see some friends. Deliver the paper. Don't even look where you're going. Feel the breeze. Grab a tree branch. Watch some horses train. Stop for a cup of tea. See the sights. Forget the issues. And come back better for it.

I'm going for a ride tomorrow.

Contact Sean Clancy via e-mail at sean@thesaratogaspecial.com or telephone at 518-581-1947.

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