Artwork: ghost

The Life of a Cowboy

Author: AJ '18
As seen in: Sets in the West #

I was only five years old when my grandpappy taught me how to shoot a gun. “Pull the trigger and end my suffering,” he begged me, holding the barrel to his head. And I did.

A year later, my father gave me my first horse, for going to school. It was dead, and I had to drag its lifeless body eighty miles to school every day. This was because I lived in a very rural area without a bus that I was allowed to bring dead horses on. All the kids made fun of me, since I didn’t fit in with them socially. Also, because of my unorthodox views on assisted suicide.

As a teenager, my job was to herd cattle. I spent a lot of time chasing cows, because they liked to play tag. When I was out there in the fields, I loved to sing songs about home on the range, like “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Yakety Sax.”

I will never forget the day that I turned 18 and became a man, as it marked the end of a very long stretch of hormone treatment culminating in gender reassignment surgery. I had to perform this surgery to finish my medical school education, which is in my opinion the mark of a true man. On my birthday, father gifted me his old whip, signifying that he was going to retire and I would take over the family business of being a dominatrix. The whip was 100% human leather, which is to say that humans made it, out of cow leather.

Later, I met my wife at the local general store, where I was buying extra-small condoms and she was buying one huge dental dam. I knew our relationship would never work out, because of the differences in our interests and races. She was a Native American, and I was a racist. You have to understand that this was a different time when everyone was intolerant, so for me to have been considered a racist back then meant I was extremely, extremely racist.

Anyways, my wife didn’t like how I always called her “Indian,” telling me that the proper term was “Ashkenazi Jewish.” I knew my father would never approve of our marriage, as he did not believe straight couples should marry until everyone had the right to marry. Sure enough, our romance soon ended after she died of dysentery. But not immediately afterwards.

Yes, in those days, my home was on the range, and my house was repossessed by the bank during the Asian financial crisis of 1997. I lived in Kansas at the time; this is just to give you some temporal context. I worked during the day, and at night I cut loose at my favorite watering hole: a big pool of dirty water by the broken Exxon pipeline. All in all, I’ve loved being a Cowboy, and I especially loved bringing the Super Bowl trophy to Dallas in 1972, as a deliveryman.