Blue-Eyed Texas Cowboy

© 2009 Kalani Odum

Back in 2016, when I started trying to convince myself that I was cut out for the literary life, I did a writing exercise called 50 First Lines, in which the point is to speedwrite just that — fifty first lines that could become stories. Then the idea is to go back and expand on the ones that show promise.

One of those entries was this: 

I used to know how to fly. Then again, I used to believe there was a reason to. But that was before Cal. Cal was the kind of guy who could talk a girl into flying and clip her wings, all with the same slow smile. He was sun on wheat and cold water straight out of the hose and barefoot and lemonade in mason jars, all wrapped in jeans and faded concert t-shirts and summer evenings in soft corners of barns and fields where the straw tangled in my hair.

For whatever reason, these two characters have stuck with me over the years. They became major characters in my novel (for those who are reading, you may recognize Carolyn and Donnie — and yes, I absolutely will finish it, I just need a bit of a break for now while I find my footing again with my music and get that set up). And now they are characters in a song as well.

“Blue-Eyed Texas Cowboy” is about these lovers. It’s also loosely inspired by my own blue-eyed Texas cowboy — the love of my life, who is neither from Texas nor a cowboy nor blue-eyed (I think, I’m not terribly observant about that sort of thing), but whom I miss every single damned day.

And probably more broadly, it’s about all the people and places and identities that I’ve tried on over the years and said goodbye to. With very few exceptions, I think about all of them, every now and then.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO BLUE-EYED TEXAS COWBOY:

It was easy enough to stay for awhile
Barefoot drinking lemonade 
Mason jars and sunny days
Making love and drifting on the magic of his smile
It was easy enough to stay for awhile

And every now and then I think about him
On those lonely nights when winter’s in the wind
And I swear I’ll never see the sun again
When my broken memories gather round
Bringing me the pain they’ve found
It’s midnight and my blue-eyed Texas cowboy rides again

It was hard enough to leave him when I did
Suitcase waiting in the hall
Tears and promises to call
Wishing that I didn’t need this gypsy life I live
It was hard enough to leave him when I did
 
And every now and then I think about him
On those lonely nights when winter’s in the wind
And I swear I’ll never see the sun again
When my broken memories gather round
Bringing me the pain they’ve found
It’s midnight and my blue-eyed Texas cowboy rides again
 
I was only supposed to miss you for awhile 
Barefoot drinking lemonade 
Mason jars and sunny days
Making love and drifting on the magic of your smile
I was only supposed to miss you for awhile 
 
But every now and then I think about you
On those lonely nights when winter’s in the wind
And I swear I’ll never see the sun again
When my broken memories gather round
Bringing me the pain they’ve found
It’s midnight and my blue-eyed Texas cowboy rides again

 ©  2020 Faith Currant 

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