April 25, 2012

Nancy Stebbins


You: on the road, bowlegged, blue jeans, clean white Stetson you call your sombrero.

Me: at home, emailing my sister for her opinion on baby names. We like "Nathaniel" and "Alexander," though you've taken to calling our boy "Tex" ever since the ultrasound.

You: phoning from El Paso, unsnapping the pearl fastener on your breast pocket to get at your Marlboros, saying "Honey, I nearly died today," and that you've won a prize buckle that could double as a holiday platter.

Me: forehead against the wall, knowing better than to bring up that your life has already been saved by a dozen rodeo clowns and a woman named Georgina in Amarillo.

You: opening a bottle of beer to wash down the B.C. Powder you call cowboy cocaine, saying you'll be home Tuesday, and that you're bringing a present for little Tex—a miniature mechanical bull for the nursery, for when the little buckaroo can hold his head up by himself.

Me: saying we could've used a car seat, digging from the trashcan the recipe for buttermilk pie your mama sent me, along with a book of daily devotions for rodeo wives.

You: pulling your pickup truck into our driveway on Wednesday, bringing into our house the miniature mechanical bull and a rodeo clown named Johnny B, who keeps asking to touch my belly.

Me: scrubbing at white grease paint stains on the pillow case, writing an email to my sister, trying to type codependent, but auto complete keeps turning it into cowboy.


Nancy Stebbins is a staff editor at SmokeLong Quarterly. Her stories have been published in Cutbank, The Los Angeles Review, Saint Ann's Review, and other places. Her MFA is from Pacific University.


donalmahoney said...

Yes, i indeedy, this woman can write. Wonderful to see the universal captured so briefly in a microcosm of real life.

Unknown said...

I like this, Nancy. It will resonate with anyone whose has ever been caught up in a strange off-the-wall passion, or knows someone who has. For me it was Uncle Charlie. The last time I saw him was on a ranch near Ruidoso where he had an untested filly and old Thoroughbred gelding he was running at Ruidoso Downs. Bravo!