BACK IN THE SADDLE
Frank Westcott © Frank Westcott, 2020. All rights reserved.
The saddle came out of hiding. From the basement. It rose to the stairs. Through the stairs, actually.
Some would say, up the stairs,but that was what the boy had to do. Go up them. When his father was finished with him.
His father would say, “Climb the stairs.”
The boy would try. He couldn’t, though, because his legs were all wobbly. From the riding.
The boy hated the riding. He lost himself somewhere back then. In the riding.
His father pushed him. Down. The stairs. He couldn’t. Climb. After the riding. Legs wobbly. Father pushing. Down. The stairs. Couldn’t go up.
And his father wanted him to go up. The stairs.
Incongruous that. A word he couldn’t have used. Then. Too young.
Can use it now. The word.
The boy. The man. Now a man. Sees a saddle under his piano. Now. Sitting. A reminder of the riding. Without a saddle.
The boy in the man breathes. Deeply.
There will be no more riding. Ever.
The boy learned. To ride the waves. Of space. And of time. During the riding. To another place. Where there were angels. Frolicking. Dancing. Dancing all ‘round him.Dancing. Tunes. Through space. Through time.
And the boy could hear angels singing. Then. To him.Waiting. For him to sign. The agreement.The agreement that would set him free.
Freedom. Something sought. From the days of riding. Saddle riding. Without a saddle. Only his father. On top. Of him. After playing. Horsey. With him. The boy. On top. First. Having fun. With it. Until it changed. Forever. In the shower. Seeing. The water drip. Off. His father. His father’s arm. His other arm. And other arm.The one he hid in his pants. After the riding. Came out of him. And he, his father, no longer rolled his eyes back in his head and told him, the boy, not to look around.
But the boy looked around. Anyway.
Angels walk with the boy, now. Even when he is a man. Now. They walk with him wherever he goes. The boy learned of the place of the angels on his trips. To other places. When his father fucked him.
The black he would wait for.
That would take him away.
From the riding.
Take him out of there. Into the blackouts. During the riding. He hated.
And he, the boy, learned to hate then.
The riding took him away. Into darkness. Where he found angels. Or they found him. He wasn’t sure which. But he was found.After the darkness. After he went into the darkness. So, he, the boy,could disappear from the scene. Scenes. And fly over himself. Above himself. And see. What was happening.Below. And in him.
It was time. Then. Back then. To learn. How to do that. To black out .
He liked the blackouts after that. He waited for them. So he could be with the angels. And fly. And not see what was happening. Below. And in him. During. During the...
If he didn’t want to.
And from that day forward, from the day it was the first time he found the black or the black found him, and the angels were there, he would just wait for the black. That took him out.Out of the now. So he could escape.The riding. In the only way he could.Escape from the present moment. And the pain. The pain that walked with him. Afterwards. Always. Inside. And outside.Always inside. Every day.In that space. He kept hidden. From others. And himself.
Worst of all. Himself.And next worst of all. From all he loved. He couldn’t even love that. Them. And he lost himself that way. Then. In the riding. And he couldn’t find himself, again. Until he bought the saddle. And put it under the piano. And remembered the riding. With his father. That wasn’t riding.Really. It was something else.
And he knew that’s why he lost himself. It, the riding,wasn’t what it was supposed to be. It was something else.
In the basement.
The beast was there. And he saw the beast was his father. He, the boy,was not a horse. Or saddle. He hated riding. Being ridden.
And the boy, remembering, as the man he was now, saw he was whole. Always. Just hidden. Protected. By the black. And the hiding. So he would be safe. As the man he was, now.
And the boy laughed, in the man he was now. Heartily. Waking up. To the day. To the light. Around him. To the light. And he knew. He just knew. He could never be hurt in that way again.The hurt of the riding. And the shower. And the water dripping off his father.His father’s arm. And his other arm. And the one he kept in his pants.And didn’t keep there in the riding. But in him. The boy.
Suddenly, the boy felt free. Suddenly, the man in the boy and the boy in the man he was now, felt free. He had signed the agreement.
He pulled the saddle out from under the piano. And played a tune. Slowly. Easily. He slid off the bench. Sat in the saddle. His saddle. Now. On the floor. Silver. On the horn. Glistening.
And he saw. Himself. Now. As the man. He was. Truly. Dancing through time. And space. And healing. Every minute. Of every day.
The boy knew he was a man.
He was not his father. He did not have to hide himself from himself. Any longer. He was back in the saddle, again. His saddle. There was no more riding.
His saddle smiled.There. Or seemed to smile.That is.
The saddle waited no more for the boy to become a man. And sit in his own saddle. To take the reins of his life out of the rains of what was not him, but his father.
It felt good this. A robin chirped at the man’s window. Singing.
The man walked away from his saddle. Turned.
“I honour you, saddle,” he said, slowly. Quietly. Almost whispering. Then whispering. “I thank you for the riding. Your riding.”
And even though the man was not blacked out. Or dreaming. Or in another time. And space. He felt angels near him. Especially one large angel.
The saddle spoke to the boy, now a man, saying, “And I honour you.” The saddle seemed to pause in its talking. Then said, “You have moved past hurt of the worst kind. I ride with you, always. Now. You will never be ridden, again.”
The man crouched low. To the ground. To the floor. Breathed deeply. Forgave himself. Tried to forgive his father. Unworthy for so long. It was hard forgiving his father. It was hard. Feeling not good enough. To live. To dance. Even with angels. In the black. In that other place. Where Michael was. An especially large angel.
The saddle smiled beside the piano.
The boy in the man felt a large, warm hand on his shoulder. It felt like the hand of an angel. An especially large angel. Michael, they said.
And the boy in the man remembered from some far off other place. From long ago. On another trip. To the other place. Where it was black. First. Then light. Lots of light. After the black.When the black opened up. And he was able to see. Beautiful gardens. Monet gardens. Full of flowers. Angel flowers. Dancing flowers. Angels walking. Easily. There. On the dew. Of leaves. And roses. And sunlight. Walking. Under them. And the flowers walking, too. Under the wings of angels.
The man who held the crying boy within remembered this. From there.Then.
And he heard something being whispered in his ear like the song of a Meadowlark. If that was possible. Something about an angel called Michael.
And the saddle became quiet. And these words entered the room,“He was the first I made. He gives courage. I call him Michael . He sets you free. Sees your truth. Forgive yourself. All that was not about you.Forgive your father that which was, solely, about him. Know love. Dance in the flames of the sword Angel Michael carries.”
The man, who was no longer a boy, thought he heard these things.
He knew he was home. Finally.
He presented himself with a gift. A saddle. Without wrapping. Or bows. A saddle he had always had. And never lost in the riding. As he had thought.Only hidden.
He chuckled to himself. And into the space. Around him. Where a blue light hovered near his shoulder.
The man thought he heard the glimpse of a sound, if that was possible,seeing itself in never time.
When he turned, he saw a strange blue light like an eye into his soul.
For men who experienced sexual abuse or assault in childhood, this is an excellent resource:
[ ... song written by Michael Hanson as a song & tribute for Frank Westcott, me :). And of course for me to sing. Michael was formerly of Glass Tiger renown. ]