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Stray Dog Studio

Santa Anita

        Santa Anita.. the holy saint shining her light through the clouds. A perfect backdrop to a beautiful day. Oh the calmness of my muscles, how heavily drugged they seem. And all for being in that painting.. the firm dirt track, saturated grass, the horses ..and that faded light coming from god knows where.

        The sun beats down on my outstretched forearm and its open palm. The trees dangle against the red sky, their image interfered with by waves of heat. I sit up.

        One minute till post. Race #9 – No. 2 – Dancing Noelle

        How that name infused me with a rush of memory.. clutching to the wager slip my eyes felt affected by a havenly influence. The superimposed images of the racehorse, dark mane running long and wild, and of her.. who I haven’t seen in all these years since grade school.

        My early sense of beauty, remains...

        And what did it mean that the horse finished dead last? None the less I couldn’t take my eyes off Dancing Noelle. Waiting for a more obvious dialogue I watched until the horse escaped my view.

        Santa Anita.. what a site.

        I went inside and alone walked through the clean long hallways. The bathroom was empty. I took another moment to look in the mirror and laugh to myself.. this is what I do now. The liberty of having taken time to be alone. The excitement of acting without others knowing. I moved through places being so heavily altered by each without leaving behind any mark of my own existence. With no future in mind every place brought up only the past and so I was moving through fields of nostalgia.. unchangeable romantic views..

        They made all the decisions for me. I simply had to browse the names on the next race and wait for one to mean something to me.

        Race #10 – No. 2 – Ann Arbor Eddie

        I noticed an immediate change in the painting when I walked out. Pink clouds, green sky. White fence, beige dirt, dark horse, blue bird.. white number 2.

        How I let it all change me, that painting.. in nobody’s eyes but mine..

        Ann Arbor.. how funny and how inevitable that a racehorse’s name would remind me of that which I can never forget. Before Florida, before New York, Ann Arbor is where I found you. Was it reincarnation? Or just a message passed along through long travelled currents of wind. Did you think that I’d forgotten you, baby? Did you think that maybe I’d stop calling you that? And every other sweet name I still whisper that means you..

        In my daze I saw my horse alone at the front about to win. A perfect gallop, playing on loop. I couldn’t help but smile for us as I always do in the end.

        That was the last race of the day. The orange sun burned into the ocean and so I too laid myself back down to get baked and gaze at the infinite past above me.

        I couldn’t begin to tell you what I saw in the clouds... 

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