Post the Forty-Eighth: I Know Where A Horse Lies Buried

This morning, Gentle Reader – clearing the dross of my mind via journaling, I seem to have been consumed by friendship: the loss thereof. It might have been due to dreams that I’ve recently suffered, or to a conversation with a certain Miss Spectacular, near three in the morning.


There are many people that I love, and have loved. Those that I loved most deeply I still deeply love, but they are less involved in my day-to-day, or not at all – torn from me, or cast away. Those that I loved moderately, with good sense, remain involved in my daily life. Those that I never loved, I can’t seem to shake; they’re tethered by their love of me.

I know where a horse lies buried.

Friends that I never liked or trusted, but did indeed love, once, used to count on me above all others. The day my mother flew to New Zealand, I had dropped her off at the airport. I was supposed to go see a head-doctor for the first time. Without someone by my side to drive me there, to quite literally force me to go, I couldn’t manage the trip – I’m terrified of doctors, of diagnoses. I received one telephone call after another, from a mother and daughter with whom I was quite close, but didn’t actually like. I ignored them; I had my own duties, my own troubles.

I finally listened to their messages, after Miss K. rang me up. She explained the situation more succinctly than their six messages would; their ancient horse had died. Jem*, the mother, was alarmingly portly and recently destitute; the daughter, Emilly*, was slight, and earning as much as a 19 year old can, which isn’t much. They needed help. Though knowing many other able-bodied young men, and knowing that I was Officially Unavailable for Anything that day, I was the one -the only one- that they trusted with their troubles. It was nearly dusk.

Animals Starved

I rushed over in my truck. They had had all day to find someone else, or at least pick a spot for burial, but had chosen coffee with K. instead. K had been trying to convince them to select another savior, in vain, and was reading to dig the hole herself – K. is unbearably thin, and only strong when she’s in one of her rages, which is often. K. and I called my ex-husband, who’s rather robust, and made several calls to other young men of our acquaintance who would be able to help. Eventually, we were able to rouse my Auntie R., who has a very busy social calendar and is active in SCA, the con scene, and the local drag court (he’s almost never free), and, later yet, my former neighbor, and K’s future flame, Mr. King.

We dug. From dusk until, no, not quite until dawn, we dug. Even K. jumped into the pit, and shoveled until the sweat was in her eyes. We did our best, by hand through hard clay, to treat the corpse – staring at us, all the while; we hadn’t thought to close his eyes – with respect. Unfortunately, eight hours later, our hole was shallow – four feet deep, barely enough for Old Red, and Eight by Four, if the irregular blob had been squared off. We had to tie the poor thing to Ex-Husband’s tow hitch, and drag the body with his truck, until we rolled him into his grave. I’m reasonably certain that we broke no bones.

We entombed Old Red in wire fencing, to keep the coyotes from getting to his corpse, should they dig him up, and back-filled the grave. Being of a mystic and spiritual bent, after he was buried, I performed certain rites and rituals taught me by father, modified from Native American ceremonies, for the death of a beloved animal. Crying, Jemilly toasted their friend, and passed around the bottle. We broke up, for the evening, seeking our beds just as the sun rose.


Jem and Emilly, who I never much liked, but indeed loved, no longer speak to me. There were injustices on both sides, imprecations, degradations. Jem got the final barb in, after I moved here, to Teaberry, turning some people I mentored and loved very much indeed against my memory. I don’t begrudge her for this, as I did her many a bad turn, and deserve such a punishment. Nonetheless, I know where a horse lies buried.


*Yes, yes, names. Jemilly – it’s what we used to call Emilly II, who was the daughter of a woman who called herself Jem† – to distinguish her from the good Emily. While friendly with them for ages, we weren’t exactly close; we moved in the same circles, invited one another to functions, and quietly despised one another. We no longer speak.

†Yes, she’s truly, truly, outrageous. She chose that name, and I can respect that process, but she was altogether a scheming, backstabbing, vicious, woman, and I’m glad that she’s no longer a part of my life.

About Ty DeLyte

Madame DeLyte has suffered a grave disappointment - YET AGAIN - and still believes that freedom, beauty, and truth are what's valuable, rather than vulgar cash. He'd add love to that list - but, well, what can he say about love?
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8 Responses to Post the Forty-Eighth: I Know Where A Horse Lies Buried

  1. nataliedeyoung says:

    This is sad. I like your use of decadent words, though; they lend an aura of grandeur to such an emotional post…and I like how you wrap it up. Indeed, I know where a few horses are buried as well.
    I’m glad you’re toying with fiction. Here’s hoping we’ll get to read some of it, soon…

  2. ekgo says:

    For odd reasons, this post among all of yours I have read has hit me the hardest. Many odd reasons.
    But wow. For me, this was powerful and beautiful and horrible and I am sorry and I am proud of you and I would hug you for this were I but closer.

    • Tyler J. Yoder says:

      Thank you. This post was hard to write; as you get closer to the present, the posts get better (and then they get worse again). This is one my favourites, though.

      • ekgo says:

        Yeah, so far it is my favorite. I mean, it’s well-written, it flows well, it’s…not catchy, but has that, um, catch. I’m sorry. I have a cold. There is a handful of snot lodged in my cranium and it’s pressing against my vocabulary and screwing things up. But anyhow, I like it best because while I can tell it is meaningful to you, I can translate it to my life and then it has meaning to me, too.

        • Tyler J. Yoder says:

          I really want to go and dig the skull up, because I have a burning need to own a horse skull someday, especially as after they moved out, the landlord demolished the place. However, Miss K wisely advised me to avoid that, because he has probably put a new house on it, and rented it out or sold it since then, and trespassing on inhabited property out here is dangerous.

          • ekgo says:

            I would have to agree with Miss K on this one. But how hard is it to come across a horse skull? Up where you are, probably hard. Where I am, moderate. Down south? They’re probably lying around everywhere. So I’ll keep an eye out and if I find a horse skull, I will send it your way.

  3. Pingback: Post the Fifty-Seventh: On Weddings | Whimsical Adventures of the Reverend Doctor

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