Postcard prose - Issue 18 | June 2013

Boar Guts and Horse Sense

by Mark Millhone

The boar’s heart, still beating, hopped like a legless frog in the Texas heat.

I was a long way from Manhattan.

Dean wiped boar blood on his Wranglers, sheathed the knife. Squinted at me.

You just lost or are you looking for something?

Good question. Wish I had a good answer. Fresh out of those since the divorce, the foreclosure, the bankruptcy. I’d wanted to die but only made it as far as Texas.

I told Dean my troubles and got no sympathy. By his cowboy calculus, I hadn’t lost anything of value. He accounted me a man in full - as long as I could stay in the saddle.

We mounted. Redlight skittered and stamped, his nostrils flaring with the smell of the boar’s still-warm blood and my cold sweat. 
You only have to know you’re a horseman. As long as you know the way home, your horse’ll get you there.

I spurred Redlight and was on my way.

About the author

After graduating from Columbia University with an MFA in Film Direction and winning the Academy Award for Best Student Film, Mark spent many years wandering the vast desert of Hollywood development hell before resurfacing as a screenwriting professor at NYU Film School and the Dysfunctional-Male-in-Residence at Men’s Health Magazine. His humorous columns for that magazine begat his memoir, The Patron Saint of Used Cars & Second Chances.

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