The Last Rodeo by Patsy Covington

He was nervous; I could see that. He started to gently lay the movie star magazine back down on the table in front of us.

"Damn," he said, and threw it on the table and it nearly slid off the other side of the glass top. He leaned back and put both arms up, heavy with dark hair, and clasped his hands behind his neck. I was watching him and he knew it. I ducked my head.

We were the only ones in the medical office, both waiting for something: me, for my chemo treatment; him, who knew? Maybe his wife was already in the back.

"Never anything good to read in here," he said.

"Hollywood," I said, and smiled at him.

He lowered his arms and leaned toward me, brown eyes, bushy eyebrows, wrinkles covering most of his sun-toughened face.

"Why don't they have bull riding magazines?"

"They should have," I said.

I think he wanted me to know something about him. People who come here often do, I've noticed. "You ever ride bulls?"

"Always wanted to," he said.

He stood up and paced a few feet and back; rubbed his face like a man does when he's checking his whiskers.

"Rodeo clown," he said.He showed me a tattoo on his forearm: Sexy Rexy in very small letters, almost as if he didn't want to brag too much.

The door opened and I expected to hear my name called, but the nurse smiled at him and said, "Rex."

He walked away from me toward the door: bow-legs in soft blue jeans, wearing brown penny loafers; not boots. At the door he half-turned toward me and grinned and gave me a little salute. Like a young man, I thought: like a man who knows the next bull is his.


2010 - Covington

All Rights Reserved--2007-2024