I’m not dead yet. Ten whole days have gone by in this awful body, and I’m not dead yet. I think how easy it would’ve been for fate to leave me with something familiar, but of course that couldn’t happen. It was all or nothing.
I wish it took me too.
Sky did what she said and fed the chickens this morning, in addition to making more omelets (this time with cheese and peppers. Everything is better with cheese). Something tasted a little different about the eggs. Maybe it was having them fresh. Not a bad different, just different. Neither of us seems to be pooping blood or anything else so I’ll assume that we can indeed eat these things.
Granted, that’s one aspect of the transformation I’ve thought as little about as possible. The drains still work, and we still have water in the cistern, so the toilets still flush. Thank goodness they’re so much bigger. Oh god, the thought of how I’d have to clean up if I missed…
Sky said she planned on visiting the cows and seeing what the park would need to be safer for them. Probably better fences to keep other animals out. She asked if we could set up some kind of fence in the street, so that they could walk from the “barn” across the street (actually an empty discount store) into the park.
Yeah, we could set up some fences. If I had my damn hands, I could drive a forklift and set up anything she wanted. Or use a post-digger. As it stands, we’re both next to useless. This is why nothing without hands could evolve into a civilization. This right here. How are we supposed to get anything done? She doesn’t think it’s impossible, and neither do I. I just think there are other priorities. I made a list!
1. More comfortable walking transport (ie: better wagon)
2. Horse-shoes before our hooves wear down to the bone from all this walking
3. Restart and dramatically increase the range of the radio beacon.
4. Start a garden.
5. A vehicle converted to horse-driving.
7. Human again!
Hopefully whoever’s reading this already knows what we did for six, because this crisis is over and everything's back to normal. None of this is fair. Humanity had some challenges to face in the years ahead (many of which were self-inflicted), but it isn’t fair to just make us all disappear! We didn’t even get a chance! I’m sure we would’ve done just fine if you’d let us keep trying.
Whatever. I’ll probably just be eating grass with Sky somewhere. Maybe those horses we set free will let us join their new herd. Puke, no.
I’ve tried writing with my hooves, and with my mouth. My mouth still seems like the best bet, but if you’ve seen my sketches you know I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m not dictating things. Thank god for computers, but I wish it was easier to add formatting. Pretty annoying. Wonder how long it will take all the printer ink in the world to dry out.
Worked on number one from my list today. Walked with Sky to the park, then into the city to a crafting store. Brought leather and lots of other sturdy fabric in my painful plastic wagon. Tasted funny to pick it up in my mouth, but I didn’t get sick or anything to be near it. I guess not being able to palate meat isn’t the same as being some kind of mind-controlled lifestyle vegan. It’s the small blessings.
Can you cut leather with a bandsaw? Yes! Can you use a sewing machine with hooves? Not easily! Did I get lazy and glue most of it instead? Heck yeah!
Obviously finding real rope was easy enough. I remember hearing once that horse-drawn carriages use only cotton or hemp rope because it’s easier on the coat of the animal, so I got some of that. Didn’t have to be very long, since neither of us is very big. Cloudy is only about half an inch shorter than I am, though I think the harness should still work for her. She’s a little leaner and more aerodynamic, in ways I didn’t notice before we spent time together. I wonder if we’re even really the same species.
Took most of the day to make the harness copying the general design of the toy. No bridle for the end, though, just made it to go around the shoulders and neck. No sense not being able to talk when I walk anywhere.
Sky came back while I was working, with an idea I actually thought was pretty good. She said that there was bound to be plenty of times when we wanted to be able to carry a few things with us but not lug around a wagon like pack animals. She suggested making saddle-bags, like the old cowboys used to use. Helped with that, modeling for me so I could measure using her body. Saddlebags weren’t actually that hard to make. The hardest part was that they usually clip on the saddle (imagine that). Started with some soft leather in the right size, just had to attach a few straps to wrap around the front of the body above the forelegs and around the belly (Sky says the word is barrel).
Once that was done, we just sewed a child’s zipper backpack to each side, no bigger than the protection of the leather. That way only the leather would touch the side of my body or Sky’s, and we wouldn’t chafe. Can horses even do that? Whatever.
Here's about how they look. Pretty simple, as you can see. Just got to keep it from slipping off, really.
It was pretty neat to do something with someone else again. That was my daily routine back in the garage, but before I found Sky it never could’ve happened again. There can’t be togetherness or community without a community to be together with. Having Huan around made it better, but by no means were things fantastic or stable. Being without someone to talk to was the pits. Sky’s a little eccentric, but it’s good not to be alone.
The second set of saddle-bags we made was much better than the first, so naturally she took it for herself and left me with the set that looks like it was cobbled together by some drunk primates.
I guess we’re not primates anymore. I wonder if we can get drunk. Bet I’m a total lightweight now. Okay, I was a total lightweight before. I guess… more so.
While working together with Sky I also learned something else interesting about her; she’s much lighter than I am. Almost knocked her over by accident while we worked, as I bumbled around with my typical clumsiness. When I stumbled into her, I easily knocked her to the ground, like she was made of foam or something. I wonder if those bones of hers are hollow. Is there any chance she could fly after all?
No, of course not. Nothing that awkward-looking could ever get off the ground.
I guess I’m going to be a study in whether attraction is learned or completely ingrained somehow. Being around someone who insists on being naked all the time is embarrassing enough, and that’s while she’s got a tail covering everything. Am I going to start feeling… emotions… for my new species? With everything that’s changed, will… God, I don’t want to think about that. I’m still so disgusted by my own body I can’t imagine feeling anything like attraction towards anybody else. I’m just a stupid horse.
Tried out the new saddle-bags, seem to work okay I guess. Hooves still hurt from all the walking. Looks like I’m wearing them down even more. Probably should focus on shoes I can wear if I’m going to be walking on concrete and asphalt all the time. Project for tomorrow.
Sky goes to bed way early. I can sometimes hear her crying in there when she thinks I’m asleep. I wonder if there’s something I can do to help her. It’s hard when I can’t really relate with the life she had before. I’m fairly sure that’s what she’s upset about. She seems to take her current life more or less in stride. Giving up your old name and refusing to refer to specific details of your past does seem to indicate she’s either adapted or is trying to hide from it.
Wonder which it is.
If I ever cried myself to sleep at night because I was an awful, disgusting, helpless animal, I certainly wouldn’t tell my journal about it, would I?