Sneak previewBorn To Run Free: True Trails From The Horse's Mouth by Micah True
Caballo Blanco was just returning to his mountain cabin near Nederland, Colorado in the spring of 1989. It had been a 7 year life-cycle bringing him back around to here, where he was supposed to be at the moment, sitting in front of the wood stove, fire crackling in warm and thoughtful reflection. During the 7 years since 1982, after retiring from his previous occupation of being a prize fighter, he had gotten very much into long distance running, having run 5,000 and up to 6,000 miles each year during the 80's. Most of that running came naturally as a form of moving meditation, a clearing of the mind and senses. He did not run a race until 1986 when he accidentally won a 50 miler after running 100+ and up to 180 mile weeks on a regular basis for a few years, for fun. That winter had been another good one for the horse-man, running the trails around lake Attitlan in Guatemala; a large, seemingly endlessly deep blue crater lake, surrounded by three volcanoes; a place where he had been spending the winters through the tumultuous times of the 80's; strifeful and growing times for Guatemala, the indigenous people of that land, and for the spirit of the man called Caballo Blanco [White Horse], a name he had received by Mayan villagers a few years earlier while running the connecting maze of trails around the lake.
While looking for more wood and fuel to feed the dwindling fire, the just returned from traveling man found an old manuscript in a drawer, the hand-written scrolls documenting another life-time in the circle of being that was his life, having had ended that particular story 7 years previous. He had stopped writing, and put the story away, not to even look at it again until this day some years later. He began to read the nearly 1,000 page text. As day tuned into night, and the night moved on, growing darker and colder as the hours passed, the Colorado cold front that he had returned to deepened, as did his attention into the reading of the words of a past life, love, wins, losses, and fictional like events leading to the now, the re-realization that the past, present and future are really connected as one, all occurring now in the grand scheme of things; a life-time being but 70 or 80 years of the millions of years of pure existence. He read and laughed, put another log on the fire, read and laughed some more, reading the story of the young California hippy prize-fighter living in a dangerous world, but in a strangely real and moving way, living a dream. And when the story would lag, the young man would stick his thumb out and wander the country just to make something happen, to create more story that could easily and only really be written as it occurred. The real life characters and dialog were so surreal as to be the stuff of fiction, but, was as real as anything can be.
24 Hours passed and the fire had dwindled down to coals. El Caballo had relived almost 1,000 pages of long-hand writings and was now into the last chapter. The events unfolding on paper were as faded in time as the ink, buried deep in the sub conscious of the writer, in a place of sacred self awareness, a learning process, a measurement of where he was and how he had arrived at this current resting place in time. Now, he was ready to read and re-experience the past, the past that led to the now, and would be his future--The trail goes on forever. There is no way to stop the water. After reading it all, the White Horse glanced over at his smiling, faithful True Dog and exclaimed: "This is damn good stuff!". He then opened the door of the wood stove and offered that part of his life to the still hungry embers. And True Dog just grinned.
1982: The place was Marin County, California. "The Gypsy Cowboy" was laying on a table in a dressing room of the Marin County civic auditorium, preparing himself by resting before being featured in the "main event" of the evening, a 10 round fight against the local killer, an up and coming undefeated middleweight. While the roar of the crowd reacted to the action taking place in the auditorium, the young long-haired boxer was totally relaxed on the table, mind wandering to other places; and everything he had been running from came to him at that moment, pinning him to the table. Tears rolled down his face, falling to his chest as the sadness overcame him like flood waters of the overflowing river of dreams. Someone entered the room and his space "Cowboy, you're on", and the Gypsy Cowboy gathered his thoughts to stuff them back into the seeming hole that was his broken heart, as if perhaps he could use those feelings to patch that place; and lifted himself up off the table, to rise with a semblance of dignity as he followed the escort down the aisle and into the deafening noise of the auditorium, stepping up, onto the platform, slipping between the ropes of the ring, dancing a warm-up circle dance. He removed the maroon colored robe with the image of a white horse, created by his lover. The white horse on the back of the robe was beginning to fade. The Gypsy man determined that unlike the image on his robe, he would not fade away. He was ready to fight. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- He had left the island of Maui, wandering the country, winning some, losing some, losing, but really winning others, having taken some dives, pretending to have been knocked out while knowing that he could, and would often times dance circles around his opponent, taking great pleasure in teasing, luring the other to chase him, making him miss and thus frustrating and angering the opposition; inflicting only the physical damage needed to get the job done, no more; and often times apparently not enough to persuade biased judges that the peaceful artist had won the fight. Thus, his art was learning to fight while not hurting others and protecting himself from getting hurt, while writing about it as it happened; the strange and raw world, the underbelly of an American sub-culture being penetrated and explored by a young man living amongst several other varied sub-cultures......
Certainly, the motivations for, and life-style of the Gypsy was interesting to the future psychologist, the curious minded Melinda. She was intrigued, and wondered why he always told and wrote his story from the third person.
The Gypsy Cowboy, along with his faithfully beautiful long haired Golden lab/Samoya pooch, True Dog, drove his '57 Chevy truck into Boulder town in June of 1980. They had wandered up from Padre Island in South Texas where they had been camping in the sand dunes and running a marathon on the beach almost every day for the winter. When the winter turned to spring, the fat furry and lean fur-less friends got into their truck and started driving west, "hitch-hiking" with the old truck that had a welded frame built on the bed with a rolled up canvas tarp that would spread over the welded steel frame for camping, looking like an old covered wagon. When the truck would be down to it's last quarter tank of gas, The Gypsy man and dog would park at a truck stop to get work loading or unloading trucks for gas money. While driving they would often spot a hitch-hiker who would ask where they were going. "West," The driving man would reply. The hitch-hikers would ask how far, "oh, about as far as the gas is above a quarter tank." He would smile, and thus drove straight through in this manner, all the way to San Diego before the truck finally ran out of gas at the curb in front of an old friend's house. Good timing!
While in San Diego the Gypsy dancer booked a fight, put on his show, danced circles around the '76 french Olympics silver medalist who was living in California and being "promoted", building his winning streak. Whenever Frenchy would get close the gypsy would launch 3 fast jabs into his eyes and dance away, frustrating the charging fighter, and eventually opening a nasty cut over the Frenchman's eye. After the 6 round fight the Frenchman was declared winner by a close split-descision. While in the locker room afterwards, the Mexican cornerman whom the cowboy had hired for $40 to work his corner said: "Yipsy...You win the fight. look what you do to your opponent." The hurting Frenchman "winner" was being stitched up by the doctor. The loser of the fight walked out the door briskly with a smile and not a mark on his face.
"Great, we have some gas money" the happy traveler announced to his grinning True Dog, and they were in the "Goat Roper", the name painted on the side of the 57 Chevy truck, headed northbound towards the golden Gate of San Francisco, Humbolt county bound, "Where the grass is greener, sweeter, and more potent." True Dog just grinned.