The Diary of Bridgette M., Part 18

by Trey Nosrac

Series introduction ishere.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 ishere.

Part 6 ishere.

Part 7 is here.

Part 8 is here.

Part 9 ishere.

Part 10 is here.

Part 11 is here.

Part 12 ishere.

Part 13 is here.

Part 14 is here.

Part 15 is here.

Part 16 is here.

Part 17 is here.


We are in scramble mode at the farm. Horses always need to be taken care of. You can’t just decide one morning to hop on a plane to Bali for a few weeks, or fracture a hip like Paul did yesterday and forget about the horses. Paul told me that people in the harness racing community are usually very kind about helping each other, and even a pariah like him could make a few calls, but he did not want to ask for help.

I was on fire this morning with good suggestions. They just kept popping into my head.

My first idea, which Paul and Bart gave a big thumbs up, is that I need to renew my driver’s license. My license expired three years ago. As a member of the severe drug user’s society, I never renewed it. Why should I? I did not have a car, was afraid I could be a menace under the influence, and could not afford a car, insurance, gas, or even the money to take the test. I needed every dime for you know what.

My mom will take me to the DMV on Monday morning before she takes me to the horse farm. Paul is arraigning insurance so that I can drive his truck. The guys seemed astonished that I have a clean driving record and have no problems driving a large pickup truck. Paul asked if I would check on his grandmother a few times daily. He will have limited movement when he returns to the farm today. In the meantime, we will both keep our phones handy.

Another idea came from a chat my mom and I had. Alice Riggins, one of her pinochle friends, volunteers for an organization that brings daily meals to families in need, and while Paul’s family is not in need, the meals are delicious and homemade. Plus, now that his sister is in a nursing home, the person who delivers the meals can offer some socialization for Grandmother Edith. I told my mom they might want to make the delivery person a saint because Edith is prickly.

More ideas were that Paul rent or buy a golf cart to get around, and Bart could use the boards and plywood from the old barn to build a temporary ramp to the house’s front door. All this chaos takes my mind off using drugs. I can’t help but remember that Paul got clean when all hell broke loose after his grandfather died, so maybe, just maybe.


Today was good. I passed the written driver’s exam but needed a live driver test. I lucked out because things were slow at the DMV, and I took a guy for a spin around the block in my mom’s car with a tester who had an opening in his schedule. No problem. I am ready to roll. I will drive Paul’s pickup. It feels good to have “wheels” and not be dependent. Paul stayed in the house today, but Bart and I took the fillies out for a brisk two-mile drive. When I finished tidying up the barn and filling their feed bucks, I felt accomplishment and satisfaction wash over me as I walked to the truck to drive to the NA meeting.


It is official. I will train two of the 2-year-old fillies, Annie and Lady M, the two most sensible horses. Bart will train the other fillies. Paul hopes to train or call a friend as they progress towards qualifying speed. Until then, I have been confident and anxious about being an instant horse trainer with Paul as my full-time mentor.

A new problem popped up. There seem to be problems every day in horse racing and horse training. I went one lap with Annie in tandem with Paul jogging “Miss N Tooth” (isn’t that the worst name ever?) Paul waved me to come off the track. I did not know what was wrong. After all, I did not know what I was doing, but he did not like how Annie was trotting. He looked closely at her knee and asked me to feel the right and the left ankles and see if one was warmer. The right one was warmer, no doubt. Paul muttered to himself. I picked up words like: ice, blister, pin, fire, wrap, and x-ray. These words do not sound good.


Owners can change a horse’s name. “Miss N Tooth” is now officially “Miss Chievous,” I suggested changing it to one word: Mischievous. Owners who want to change names need to come up with a name that is not the same as another horse, and Mischievous was unavailable. So, we tinkered around, and Miss Chievous was the result. The name change was fun.

Not so much fun was a woman passed out in her folding chair just before we sat down for the NA meeting. She hit the floor with a clunk. Rachel, the moderator, a former nurse, checked her breathing; it was okay, but she went into spasms. An emergency room is less than a mile from the church, so two guys drove her in a car. We all had seen similar scenes, but this happening at an NA meeting rattled us.


The vet visited Annie this morning. It was interesting. The vet took an x-ray right in the stall. It was also interesting that the vet, whose name I forgot, said he was unsure what the problem was with Annie’s leg. When the vet said to “rest her for a few weeks,” I thought, well, that won’t run up your bill. But I respected his honesty.


Today was a fun day. Paul’s hip makes it uncomfortable to get into and out of his truck and sit. The weather was sunny and warm. He had a list of stops I needed to drive him to, such as stores, doctors, pharmacies, and the post office. I tossed a few bales of straw into the bed of the truck. He scooted his rear end into the truck bed and made a little nest to rest his leg and hip. We communicated using our cell phones as I drove and darted from place to place. We got every item on the list and were back with plenty of time to get the horses out.