Rosa Ortiza, No Bull Part III
Her next ride, her fourth, was the ride of Rosa's life. She drew Notorious again.
Tommy Villalobos, LatinoLA Contributor
Read Part 1 Here
Published on LatinoLA: September 29, 2014
Read Part 2 Here
As the gate flew open, Rosa felt a sudden elation known only to those who take on nature and her challenges around the globe. The bull joined in her elation as she felt the force of his body for one memorable second. The extraordinary second ended when she felt herself hurled somewhere, she couldn't tell just where. The cowboys would tell you, nodding to each other, that Sunset had chucked her mightily like an especially insignificant flea into the fencing.
Rosa had just experienced a force unique to those in modern and ancient times who have been flung by various wild beasts for various wild reasons from Bengali to Nairobi and all points east and west.
She sat against the fence. She had a ringside view of the bull as he continued to kick his hooves this way and that, imagining Rosa the pulga still on board. He stopped and looked around, appearing disappointed as all get out. Several bullfighters (cowboys dressed somewhat as clowns meant to distract a distracted bull) helped her up and out of horn shot.
They let go of her. Rosa wobbled. One cowboy with an awe-inspiring walrus mustache grabbed her and said, "Give me your name, sir." She was later to find out this was the doctor on hand required anytime folks are tossed like rag dolls from angry 1,000 pound+ animals.
"Rosa Ortiza," she said as if not sure at all, taking off her helmet.
"Then take ten steps for me Miss Rosa then come back," he said as if it was a daily routine for him to see a tiny Latina wobble away from a massive and fuming bull. She took the steps and felt fine when she reached him again. Later, she would suffer a back pain that would torment her far into two days, placated only by painkillers provided by the doctor and a promise to herself that she would never again ride, annoy, or upset another animal even down to a diminutive Pomeranian.
She looked around for a certain cowboy, the M?®jicano, but failed to spot him. This was not like the movies where someone overcomes some obstacle, real or imagined, and then bumps into the person of interest for eyefuls of approving mutual stares accompanied by deep sighs, followed by a tender hug and a root beer with two straws.
Why wasn't I born painfully shy, she asked herself the next day after she had changed her mind regarding bulls and their disturbing reactions to someone merely straddling their backs.
Her next time out, she added a second to her ride. She was disqualified because her free hand was touching the bull as the two shot forth from the chute and into the practice pen. She had been trying to soothe him since his name was Impatience. The very next second, he deposited Rosa right below a portion of the fencing where the M?®jicano was staring down at her. He jumped down and helped her up. She, in turn, thanked Impatience, who obviously had a romantic streak wedged between all those snorts.
The M?®jicano guided her back to safety but then disappeared in seconds. Everything happened in seconds around here, she reckoned.
She doubled her time in the third ride. She stayed on her bull, Notorious, a Brahma bull if there ever was one, for four seconds then realized where he got his name. He changed directions, forward and backwards or side-to-side. Then he discarded her like a paper cup in the middle of the pen. She bounced off and was sitting in the middle of the pen like a well-behaved discarded paper cup. She was also a sitting and easy target in the middle of a bulls-eye. Notorious was now rambling around the pen as if he had misplaced Rosa and was remarking to himself, "Now where did I put that fluffy little almohada?" He was aiming to place a grand punctuation mark somewhere on her hide.
She was lifted by two sturdy cowboys and carried to safety as a bullfighter ran back toward the chute with Notorious in heated pursuit. The bullfighter dodged to one side as the gate re-opened, welcoming Notorious who underscored his exit by butting a side post and rattling the gatekeeper, nearly knocking him off the fencing. Rosa was sure the impact could be heard all the way to the streets of Bakersfield.
Afterward, she looked for the M?®jicano in every corner of the odorous hangout, finally asking an old cowboy if he had seen her M?®jicano. He informed her that there were several roaming around. She said this one hung around the bull riding chutes. Jubilantly, he said, "Leonel!" as if he had just made up the name. But he added that he presently had no idea where Leonel planted his made in Le??n, Guanajuato boots.
Her next ride, her fourth, was the ride of Rosa's life. She drew Notorious again. She felt different that morning, she would later tell everyone. She said nothing in the chute to the surrounding cowboys before nodding her head firmly. Notorious was all business as well--out of the chute, he jumped as if leaping for the opposite side of the pen, Rosa feeling the impact on landing, for now it was her teeth that rattled within and without her mouthpiece, begging for release from her gums.
Notorious swayed, swerved, all the while kicking for the stars. He was using all his 1,623 pounds to convince Rosa to take up knitting. He swayed his head while pausing briefly, appearing to check to see if Rosa and her minimalist weight were still hanging on.
He resumed, kicking his hind legs as if wanting to do a "handstand" for the gathering. He turned his substantial head left then right then up, as if displaying his horns for Rosa's benefit, in order to see if she would jump ship like the landlubber she appeared to be.
Her stomach now wanted its freedom. She forgot about the 8 Seconds. Rosa feared she had angered this bull more than any bull from Mexico City to Madrid ought to be. She stiffened her body, straightening her posture as Notorious headed for the closed gate, still jumping and kicking. Her eyes, two Grade AA, Jumbo eggs, sunny side up, were focused on the fast approaching steel gate. She reached out to the bull-riding world, shrieking, Santa Mar?¡a, Madre de DiosÔÇª
[i]To be continued[/b]
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