A Tribute to My Tex:
The One Who Redefined My Life.
Newborn sunshine dances and bounces off the fast-moving road. It is one of the earliest mornings I’ve ever seen in my life. I am not in a familiar place anywhere, in my mind or my body. The sun gleams in its brand new livelihood as the skies smile broadly to match the sun’s vast glow. The gentle morning wind hits harder on the right side of my face even though I am driving and my window is open. Texas “Mighty Tex” is standing tall and proud on all his paws, his front paws on the ledge of the other window, with his head well out facing the fast-moving, wide-open road. We are going nearly eighty miles per hour. We know this moment will never be erased from our soul-selves. It is the vibration you recognize, timeless and light without dense gravity in mind, body, and soul. That is how we know.
I was emerging out of my teenage self into the woman I continue to mold into today.
“I gotta go, Tex……I bet you do, too.” I see an exit sign coming up with gas stations and places to eat somewhere deep, deep in Mississippi. I have my mind on going in a convenience store for a good piss and a pack of Marbolo Mediums. Tex and I have telepathic moments. His eyes perk at me as I slow down a little bit. We curve off the highway onto a smaller road. Pulling in a local gas station, I look at Tex and see he needs to go much more than I need to. He is barely of a year’s age. Dashing and strong, his caramel fur would glow even brighter in the sun. I let him out and carry the leash in hand keeping him within close sight and half a leap’s reach. He finds a place just a little past the curb onto the grass and lets it all out. Letting him back in the car, I tell him to watch himself and the car as he leaps into his seat peering his head out of the nearly halfway-open window. I go in the convenience store thinking how majestic and rather whirlwind things seem, “I am where I have never been. The shackles of high school are really out of sight. Then, now I couldn’t have a better traveling partner. All my life, I’ve wanted a dog and I have him.” I quietly smile and shake my head trailing off in grateful disbelief. I float back to the car smiling even bigger as Tex welcomes me back in my Ford Escort with a wagging tail and a kiss. He is rather shameless when it comes to showing affection. However, he is the farthest thing from a lap dog. Go figure, yes.
Crossroads with visions in mind within miles’ reach always held excitement and sweet soul food in the air for me.
Miles and miles of creosote bushes hug the lone highway road that meets the sky at the horizon under a generous desert breeze surround me and my flabbergasted mind as I sit in the rolling honda with my boyfriend and his family. At last, a glimpse of a railroad track crossing sign floats into my eyesight. My boyfriend and his parents are driving me and Tex to my new college in far, far West Texas. We are on the little, lone highway off interstate 10 for well over an hour. I see with my own eyes that it is absolutely nothing like “back home” where traffic lights, conveniences, stores, and flowing water fill the atmosphere. A small town with a gas station and a towering McDonald’s sign along with a ranch sign come in sight. Shortly after, we pull in a nice, moderate curve around a cactus garden facing a small museum which belongs to the university. “I will study those plants.” I tell my boyfriend right off the bat. After a two-minute or less of fifteen miles per hour drive on campus, the honda accord we are in stops at a small brick cottage right by the university gym. It is my new home for however long I stick around.
Looking out the screen door after checking every corner out in the cottage, I wonder how in the world my sanity will hold in this new place. However, deeper in my being, I sense a flow of confidence that has not surfaced before. There are desert mountains all around me in sight which hold majestic beauty and promise in serving their pristine air. Tex is my companion, family, protector, sanity, and basically everything once everybody else leaves.
This was a crossroad in my life that couldn’t have contained a price tag. None whatsoever.
The tailgate lights of their honda accord fades into the horizon as I wave at them with Tex at my right with a big, smiling face with a crinkle of happiness in his eyes and a hanging tongue. He knows it is an unfolding adventure for the both of us. It really is just him and me in that little cute cottage smack right in the middle of nowhere in far west Texas. I say nowhere because it does not feel like America at all. Alpine doesn’t even have Wal-Mart. Mexico is ninety miles down the highway. The highway does not have lights or official signs other than mile marks along with the names of the upcoming towns.
Class begins that following monday but a snowstorm becomes the show of the town instead. Tex and I walk all over the town that did not have a traffic light. Walking on streets stop sign after stop sign, gratitude spills all over us for being side by side. Our footsteps blend and become a single tune. For a couple of hours, silence permeates the air within and around us without an ounce of uncertainty. It is one of the most meaningful walks I can remember.
Every single day in far West Texas, miles and miles were spent afoot. Tex and me.
His nose nudges against my face in the fold of dawn and dew, I rouse awake with a smile on my face and let him outside for a good morning breath and piss. Keeping my eye on the window and the screen door, I start making my coffee. The screen door shows his happy face peering through the screen with a clearly wagging tail and smiling face. You cannot just resist that pair of eyes that speak of nothing but ooze a grand swirl of innocence, pure courage, determination, and love. A kiss is shared every other time he comes back in if not every time. Love is beautiful.
It was just Tex and me for months. He bit a guy because he was figuring out how to approach my cottage and ask me out on a date. Tex ended up in quarantine with an orphaned pit bull named Lonesome.
As I grow into a young, young woman, Tex continues to be at my side and then gives me a loving scar on my very pregnant belly. If you need a reason or two, he gets excited about meeting the baby and going out for walks, right. As the scratch burns on my round belly, I know I will never tire of that scar because it is of pure love. My daughter is born and Tex greets her with plentiful kisses in thoughtful care. Then, my son is born. He greets him all the same licking his newborn face like tenderly crazy. Now I have two scars right next to each other on my belly because I know Tex loves my children like his own.
Seasons came and went as we moved all over the map a good few times. Tex was always a guiding light in our lives. A guiding light for that he emanated a very true zest for life, Tex was the growing torch of unspoken wisdom.
As we move back to the east coast, mother island becomes our home again only we stay there throughout the year this time around unlike my childhood summers. Tex shows me the love of the ocean that he understands I have and shares it with me. Year after year, he sits outside in the yard by the bay taking in salt life. Walks and kisses continue to be our gathering places among many others. He jumps off the dock to swim in the bay with us on toasty summer days. He is the best at sitting into the sunsets…more often so, we sit with him.
Tex,…somehow I feel stronger and calmer. I genuinely believe it is because of you. Thank you for leaving some of your vigor with me, my Texas.
When I first laid eyes on you,
as you wiggled in my arms,
You felt like a dream.
Your youth shone bright and true.
Your vigor was visible,
my knight in golden majesty.
Side by side we were,
you recognized all the ones
I let in my life.
You cradled my children in your heart.
I could tell of your love for them
through the unchanging gleam
in your eyes when you looked at them.
So many moments only between us,
You and me…
Often beyond words and explanations.
Cranking windows open while driving
even in the cold of a winter night
So, you could show me the magic of wind.
How wind made you smile.
Here I sit after the last streak
of our descending sun,
I see it is all a dream.
“….All my life you were my tomorrow, the anticipation of my future. All of a sudden, suddenly you became my yesterday.” -Stephanie Gasco
Stephanie Gasco understands a tad more now; human life will never be as complete as a finished product because we are only passing through unlike a finished product.