Captain Nudie's Rev 2

His name was Tomas and he was so handsome
I had moved back to Los Angeles to finish up my bachelors’ degree after a 10 year break. I met him one weekend when I drove down to Encinitas to visit friends, and we went out dancing. He had a German shepherd named Buck and the two of them were inseparable.

I’d had several pets since I moved out on my own: a poodle spaniel mix named Kitty Dog, finches named Kahlua and Cocaine, and a cat whose name escapes me entirely. Wait, stick with the story.

I was 28, old enough to know better. But he was so handsome.

With friends, he treated me beautifully, but when we’re all alone he would talk down to me, call me stupid, or ignore me and talk to the dog .I was so insecure, even at that age, and well he was so handsome.

His birthday was coming up. He had repeatedly talked about wanting a real Stetson during our 6 month weekends-only relationship. He was not cowboy, he was a contractor. I was working part time around school, and had moved back into my folk’s house so I had enough money. He would be so surprised. He would love me. He was so handsome.

I’d heard of a store in the San Fernando Valley called Captain Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. The owner drove a big Cadillac convertible with the horns of a steer attached to the front grill. Very Hollywood. I think he looked a little like Colonel Sanders of KFC fame. Maybe he was in the Rose parade, or had commercials on late night TV, after Cal Worthington?

One day I drove over there. The store was really awesome. I remember seeing these very cool snakeskin boots that cost over $200. In the late seventies that was a fortune. My VW van only cost $1500 new, I think, at that time.

Anyway I bought the Stetson.  I can’t remember the exact price, but in retrospect it was much more than I should have spent on anyone, unless I had a ring on my finger, and particularly much more than I should have spent on this guy. I remember they had some sort of steamer to shape the brim and a special box to keep it in. A very manly box.

I took it back to my folks and sneaked it into my childhood bedroom.. My mother would never approve of a gift THAT expensive for a guy I barely knew but… he was so handsome.

Finally it was Saturday morning and I got up early and headed for San Diego. This was the one of only two guys I've gone out with I my 59 years that lived in a trailer park. Yes a trailer park. He was still sleeping when i got there so I sat in the car for two hours until he got up and opened the door to let the dog out. There he stood in the bare metal doorway, the sun shining on his tousled, chiseled figure. He was so handsome.

He acted surprised to see me, which was odd since I had been driving that same 100 miles every weekend to see him, for months. He looked tired. It was obvious he was not in a good mood, and maybe even a bit hung over, from his Friday night antics.

I decided to ignore his greeting or lack of it, and was positive he would be happy when he opened my very special, very expensive birthday gift

He walked back inside and I followed him in, making myself a pot of coffee in the filthy coffeemaker.

©2010 Sharon J Corrigan


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