The Weather

Why the Long Face?

“Why so somber?” I asked

“Forgive me, sir. I am ignorant of having demonstrated somberness,” he said, seeming to increase in somberness.

“You weren’t exactly demonstrating signs of it, I merely surmised your somber disposition from the narrator’s commentary that followed your words,” I said plainly.

“The words outside of my speech marks bear little, if any, relation to me, sir,” he said, with an expression betraying heightened somberness. “Those annotations are written by someone else—by you in fact—and do not display any stable relation to my authentic feelings or behaviors.”

Responding to this in an unadorned manner, I said, “I admit it was I who described you as ‘somber,’ but that is how I see you, plain and simple. I can’t write other than what I see.”

“Can we drop this nightmare of a pretense, sir,” he said with an evidently enhanced somberness, “and talk plainly with one another? It seems to me that narrators like yourself apply adjectives to fit their agenda, doing so with little regard for others’ innate sensibilities, or regard for the truth. You use language only for effect, neglecting any sense of integrity for the true representation of events. For example, your incessant application of the word ‘somber’ in reference to me, whilst failing to inform the reader that I am a talking horse, will certainly lead the reader to a false impression of me. I am aware that for humans, horses may sometimes appear a little cheerless—indeed, there are several tiresome jokes among your breed that comment upon our long faces to mild comic effect—but that is a minor irritation. What’s more important to me is how I am represented in this article; I don’t want my family back on the farm to read it and think that I am unhappy in any way.”

I addressed the horse with utmost sincerity, saying, “I represent what I see, that is all. I am a very straightforward writer, with only the most sincere of intentions.”

“It is true, in this piece you have sought to present yourself in such a manner. Yet I experience you differently. I feel you to be a deceitful and untrustworthy person,” said the horse, with poisonous and unctuous malice.

I answered both openly and truthfully by saying, “You nasty shit! What a devious cunt you are!”

“Whoa there!” he said, whilst farting. “I’m only highlighting personal opinions, you don‘t need to get quite so defensive.”

“Fuck you!” I shouted eloquently.

“Neigh, I no longer feel it possible to reason with you. You’ve become negative and aggressive,” said the moron of a horse, his nose bleeding with lies.

I sat back, completely unconcerned by his stupid, dim-witted ranting, whilst retorting calmly, “You’re such a dick!”

“I am terminating this conversation right now, sir,” said the equine twat. “I sense nothing further can be gained from this interaction, and so I will bid you farewell.” And he stumbled away like a madman with two left feet.

“Yeah, run away, you long-faced idiot,” I said with poise. “You shit on roads and stuff. I hope you get hay fever!”

This insult must have proved too incisive for the horse to resist, as he immediately came loping back, and spluttering through his slavering gob, said, “You are clever and witty and stuff,” by way of concession, “but I can’t help thinking that you’ll end up in prison. Either that, or die of a venereal disease!”

Without pause for thought or breath, I fluently retorted, “That will depend, sir, on whether I embrace your principles… or your sister.”

At this the pony-headed jockey-slut trotted off, his tail between his legs, leaving me with my dignity, my pride, and my panache.

Soren James is a writer and visual artist who recreates himself on a daily basis from the tired materials at his disposal, continuing to do so in an upbeat manner until one day he will sumptuously throw his drained materials aside and resume stillness without asking why. Some of his visual work can be seen here: