By Cathie R. Eisen
There are two types of wild women.
There are the droves of bleach blonds sitting at the corner tables, cigarette in hand, sipping their drinks waiting to be asked to dance. They wear tight jeans, a little too much makeup, and are willing partners, at least for the evening. They are often fairly pretty, especially after 10:00 pm and a few drinks, and might even welcome some company after the bar closes….wild women.
Then there is that other gal who stepped in before the crowd. She looked around and would have walked back out if the two gentlemen at the end of the bar hadn’t stopped her. She accepted their invitation for some conversation and calmly sat between them. She wore sneakers with frayed toes, her jeans had worn out knees and her vest was made of the Carhart canvas stuff. She wasn’t exceptionally pretty but she wore a little makeup and had a nice firm ass, a working gal. She asked for a glass of water and struck up a conversation with ease and 9:00 pm, right about the time that the music started and the crowd began to grow, she announced she was going home to stoke the fire….a wild woman.
There is a great distinction between these two sorts of women. The first get open admiration on a routine basis. Men walk up confidently and ask them to dance, grab them firmly around the waist and whirl them across the floor. They buy their drinks and they laugh and talk over the music (catching a word here and there), proposition them and on occasion even take them home. The women share their fun and their whiskey in a tobacco haze and they see each other every weekend, growing old at a corner table. Their faces never seem to change and neither does their hair color, blonds always have more fun and never seem to go gray. It seems that even after all these years since I’ve been in that bar they all still look the same. Wild women.
Now that other gal, just who was she anyway? It seems that face was familiar but was it at the store or the racetrack? Did she work at the grocery years ago? I think I saw her at the County Commission meeting, or did she write that editorial, I know her from somewhere. No, haven’t seen her at the bar in years. She lives somewhere out in the county, over the mountain, Nogal perhaps?
This other woman, who wasn’t dressed for Friday evening, just happened to drop in. She laughs and smiles at the two men at the bar, humors the one but won’t give in to his not so subtle advances. She says she would consider going to the barbecue but no, she won’t ride with him but take her truck instead. She talks of horses and cattle with his friend, and how beautiful the day was. She says yes, it is spring and she can hear the coyotes from her front porch and her garden is ready to be planted. No, she won’t stay, it is late and her horse is wondering where she is, and yes, they ought to be fed at the same time every evening, but he’ll get over it. No, she doesn’t want a drink, water is fine. She tips the bartender $2.00 and goes home about the time the tear slips down his cheek. Wild woman.
The downtown bars are a shallow pool on a Friday night. The bleach blonds and the local cowboys entertain each other, find a friend or three for the evening and go home. They wake up late on Saturday morning, stumble over to the coffee pot and nurse their hangovers. They live in rented houses or mobile homes and have a few nice western shirts and a pretty pair of boots in the closet. They work at the grocery stores and local construction businesses, watch TV at night and cook their dinners in the microwave. Some of the others are reasonably prosperous and even have nice homes and ranches. They are successful in their careers and well known around town and just looking for some entertainment on a Friday night. Still, they all have one thing in common. After a few drinks life is good, they have no worries and they can laugh and smile as if they haven’t a care in the world. And what about those wild women?
Then, there is that solitary woman. She really isn’t pretty but there is something attractive about her. Is it those dark eyes, her easy smile or simply the confidence that radiates from her posture on the barstool? The men and the women watch her curiously when she walks past. The women look at her resentfully as if she were a threat and the men wonder who she is and why she is there, but they don’t ask her to dance. She’s not drinking or smoking but she’s sitting with Glenn and Bill so she must be a local, but who’d she come in with?
She stepped into the bar out of curiosity, thinking that she should make an effort at being social as it is Friday night in Ruidoso, New Mexico. She thought that just maybe she’d run into someone she knew who might be good company for an hour or two. She lives in an old gas company house out in the county, has a few good pairs of jeans and some riding boots with the spurs still strapped to the heels. She runs two water systems and doesn’t own a TV. She cooks her meals on the gas or the wood stove and although she doesn’t drink she might take a toke on occasion. She doesn’t go out very often and has a few dear friends, but she also enjoys her solitude. She smiles every morning when she steps out the door, thanks God for each and every moment and laughs out loud that she has such a blessed life. She is a wild woman.
What is the definition of wildness? Is it that whisky smelling laugh from a smoke filled mouth in a barroom? Is it that gal that will go home with you after a night of dancing and drinking? She will drink your last beer tomorrow morning to kill her hangover before she gets in her car and goes home. Or what about the one who would stay? She will warm your blankets every night, dirty your dishes and cook an occasional good meal. She will end up fighting with you when she gets drunk or run off with your buddy when you’re not around. It seems there are plenty of wild women and lots of men to entertain them. You can find them at the bar or at Walmart, take your pick, they will be there.
On the other hand, perhaps wildness is something far more subtle. It’s that gal that drives by in the old truck and who always sparks your curiosity. It’s that women you glance out in the yard of that old house off of the highway that sits in such a pretty spot and always has smoke pouring out of the stovepipe. That place always looks warm and cozy and you want to stop by but you never do. She is that woman who always has a smile for someone and seems to know everyone in town. You might see her at the country club or the pizza place. She is almost always alone but she has a serene look in spite of her seriousness. She radiates simplicity but there is intensity about her that you can’t overlook and a strength that is obvious and just a little intimidating. She used to run around with Ronnie Hammett, that guy who shot himself. Now he was a wild one…so is she.