Eric Kocher

There was the man who turned over the cows. Cloudless howdy. Multichem Blue Bell. He was the one named after shovels. He was the one who had always been money or mud. There was the man of the law of broken wheels and there was the law of what horses will carry forever. There was the man who was convincing to horses. Dusty Devil. Feral Brenda. He was the one who was moving in circles again. He was the one not looking at his hands. There was the man who was talking about his hands. He was the one with permission. He was the one who was talking about sideways in the bucking chute. Uncle Bucks. White scorpion buckle. There was the man the bulls were looking for. He was the one who was a painting.   .                                                        





I had never been to a rodeo before. It was weird; everyone kept calling me "boy"; all of these men were lined up to jump off of their horses and tie up baby animals. "Multichem Blue Bell" and "money or mud" were both phrases said by the rodeo's announcer. The whole thing seemed to be about performing, not that so much already isn't, a particular type of masculinity. And the truth is, even though it all seemed silly to me, I really wanted to be a part of it.