Gut Rumbles

January 15, 2008

Pony man

Originally published December 7, 2003

"When it's midnight on the meadow and the cats are in the shed
And the river tells a story at the window by my bed
If you listen very closely (be as quiet as you can)
In the yard you'll hear him, it is the pony man."

That's the first verse of a song about a magical creature who takes children on big adventures at night and manages to get them back in their beds before the sun rises in the morning. It's a great song.

I hate Sunday evenings. After a weekend of enjoying a house full of kids, I find an eerie quiet around the Crackerbox after Quinton leaves. That quiet disturbs and depresses me. I feel as if my life-force is being sucked right out of my heart.

I looked at a picture this evening that made me cry. It's a picture of me playing guitar and singing to Quinton when he was still in diapers. Every time he pitched a fit as a baby, I could make him hush and settle down when I sang to him. His favorite song was "Pony Man," by Gordon Lightfoot. I must have played that song more than 100 times for him. He liked it long before he could understand the words.

In that picture, Quinton has a big smile on his face and he appears to be clapping his hands. He is less than a year old. I remember that day. I'm perched in a kitchen chair and his little ass is sitting on the floor. I am playing and singing "Pony Man." His mama took that picture because she always was amazed at the way Quinton settled down and behaved when I sang to him.

Quinton doesn't care to hear me play and sing anymore. He's outgrown that phase now. He prefers to have daddy throw a football or shoot hoops with him. I don't mind doing those things, but a part of me really misses that little boy who sat on the floor and listened to my music with wonder in his eyes.

Yeah. I miss being the Pony Man.

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