One Shot Wednesday
Marie sits in a bar called Blue Montana and plays a song on the jukebox titled "Tomorrow Is Just Another Ache In My Heart." Cowboys amble over like the lazy August wind and ask her to dance. She looks each of them hard in the eye--but only for a moment until she is sure--then politely declines.
Lately, when they hit on her, she takes a new tack. "I'M NOT OF THIS WORLD," she says, with no further explanation. Most of them will stand there for a moment, as if trying to grasp the significance of such a statement, then totter away.
Jimmy, the owner, stands watch over her and tells tales of bygone days up north, where the sky follows along like a gun riding on your hip. Above the bar sits a picture of a horse. A roan mare named Sunshine. Jimmy's one true love. She wandered off one big sky morning, and though he searched for days, it was like some giant spaceship had come along and spirited her away. In his dreams he still sees her, running free beside a rippling stream, and he wonders if it's just possible...
But it's been years now.
Jimmy doesn't have a lot to do with women anymore. Says they're as fickle as that mare, maybe more so...'cept for Marie, of course. Talk gets around. The cowboys think she's a little tetched, so they mostly leave her alone now. Which is fine with Jimmy. He's the only one who knows her real story. Eastern city gal who came out west and fell for a drifter who let her down hard. Now she sits in Blue Montana , playing the sad songs and bending his sympathetic ear.
They are together...and they are alone. As those who grieve are alone together.
But she likes watching Jimmy move, and sometimes a primitive kind of feeling comes over her and she gets the urge to nuzzle...but why does she think of it that way? That word.
And though she will not yet fess up to it, Jimmy feels that she is slowly becoming of THIS world. His world. And he will tame her--slowly building her trust until she is eating out of his palm. Someday, she will shed the blanket of her pain and come out whole again.
And he will be there.
But now, the sun is dropping and she is headed home. She stops in the doorway--her chestnut mane suffused with the soft fire of twilight, and says, "Tomorrow...is just another ache in my heart."