I grew up in the northwest Bronx, just a few minutes south of the famous bucolic town of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester. So, of course, I was fascinated by the myth and legend of the Headless Horseman. I was introduced to it, as were most children of my generation, through the Disney depiction of the legend. Later, I read the short story by Washington Irving at St. Maggies. I made many a pilgrimage to Sleepy Hollow over the sixty years I lived in New York, including some Halloween trips with hayrides through the town cemetery with my own kids. Fucking loved everything about it.
But the Headless Horseman would be nothing without his bad ass steed. As clearly established when Irving first describes the creature – “He appeared to be a horseman of large dimensions, and mounted on a black horse of powerful frame.”
To me, it was the chase by that steed that invoked the real terror in the story. The sounds of those powerful hooves closing from behind.
So, it was fortuitous that my wonderful Barber, Anna, took the above photo during her trip to Disney Land with her granddaughter. It was the only photo she shared. She has read all of my books including a draft of WTLLM. She loves Claire. Her imagery in the photo captures a side of Claire that true devotees appreciate.
Anna the Barber gets Claire. She makes the connection between two formidable literary equines.
You see, Claire is not only Jimmy Moran’s loving best friend, confidant and advisor. And funny as fuck. Claire is the misfits’ bodyguard who repeatedly demonstrates that she will kick ass and sacrifice everything for the creatures she loves. Claire takes no prisoners. Claire lays it all on the line.
The real Claire the Mule has repeatedly demonstrated those same qualities to me.
Claire always has my back.
So, when I saw that photo of the HH’s Black Stallion, I could see Anna signaling that she appreciated that bad-ass aspect of the character Claire’s personality.
Thank you Anna. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Claire says hi!
Well, dawn is peaking over the eastern horizon so I must return to the land of the living.
But first my kitty cuddle and my rounds.
The good news is that today is Thursday, which means Friday cannot be far off.
You fine, five readers wrap up this short work week in style.
But most of all, make today a great one.