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I was at a local bar the other night, kicking back and taking in some good live music, and a cowboy asked me to dance. A real cowboy with a cowboy hat and sideburns and a slow, swaggering walk that looked like it had just carried him through the double doors of a wild-west saloon. The hat was tipped down over his eyes and when I politely refused him, he just as politely touched the brim of the hat and gave the barest suggestion of a smile. Tattoos rearranged themselves along his biceps, drawing my attention to his well-muscled brown arms; and I had the fleeting thought that perhaps I should have accepted his offer. But the song was slow enough to break your heart, and I just wasn't ready for that sort of thing from a perfect stranger.
I carry a little soft spot for cowboys, just behind my knees, particularly cowboys with sideburns and tattoos who look as though they might have scraped through a few rough spots in life. But then, what woman doesn't? We like the rough types; that's what gets us into trouble. And trouble is what makes life so damned interesting. For the time being, I appear to have learned a lesson about trouble, which is: stay away from it and it will stay away from you. Don't court it, don't chase it, don't sleep with it. (Or if you do, don't beg it to call you the next day.)
Of course, that's not saying the next time I run into that cowboy I won't dance with him. I only said I'd learned my lesson for the time being.