The next time I take someone home to Maryland, I’m taking Hoss. Same Hoss. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Hoss.
I call Hoss my revolver.
Hoss could leave everything behind for the long road where, in the end, he’ll bust through a new saloon’s doors with his thigh, deck a black-hatted man, and call some new woman darlin’; but he’s mine now.
Hoss says by nightfall — because Hoss says things like nightfall — he’ll have his little lady asleep as a honey badger still needing a taste of honey.
Yeah. Hoss can still get it. Hoss has got me by six inches in his white cowboy hat and snakeskin Olsen-Stelzer boots. He cocks the hammer, tightens his grip. He triggers the cylinder into action. He rides hard on his horse.
I say, Hoss, you’re true grit and way too smooth.
I say, Hoss, you got me all squirrely.
When I tell Hoss I want to take him home to Maryland and my poster of Prince in his ass-less chaps, my boombox and Kris Kross cassette, I say the dark-skinned one OD’d on coke and smack. Hoss says, what’s smack? I say, don’t make me back this up. Hoss asks why Prince wears ass-less chaps.
I say, let me take you to the Aquarium. I say, let me show you the moray eel. Put my hand on the glass, say feel this, punch through the tank, take it out, and hand it to me like it’s the last yellow rose in Texas.
Hoss is never a man of many words.
He’s a high plains drifter.
Hoss tips his hat but leaves it cocked, so, in its shadow, I can see his face while he stares at the sky.
The gall of a man like Hoss is, he’s always out of his element and at home as the lone stranger. He walks off into the sunset. The sun always comes back.
The gall of a woman like me is, how I pretend I’m where I’m supposed to be: in that element where women wish, hope, and pray for a way to force him to settle. What I really want is to be wrangled by him and his swagger.
And under the eye of the Bromo Seltzer clock, Hoss would get it. He’d let me be his little lady tossed up on the bed like one of those dolls that’s all cloth and no plastic — Raggedy Ann with her flopping arms and legs. There’s no control except what she’s under.
Sometimes it’s OK if good guys finish first.