May 26, 2009

Exit strategy

After the emergency egress from the psychiatrist, I wondered, Will I ever write again, love again, have sex again, come to orgasm again, be loved again, be safe again? It was late April. I await the Kentucky Derby and the elusive hope for the Triple Crown. On April 28, 2008, Joe Drape files a story for The New York Times on War Emblem, the 2002 Derby winner: War Emblem is in therapy.

He is isolated from the other studs at Shadai Stallion Station in the hope that he will feel safe and more confident in his sexuality. Mares surround him in an effort to revive a long-dormant libido.


I have spoken here too much about my husband’s dormant libido.

Writing equals betrayal. Auden says, There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye. I seek syllogisms:

all x and y
z is x


War Emblem at nine years old—How many man years or dog years is that?—and five and a half years in stud, in contact with hundreds of mares, has managed to mate with only 70 of them, which is half of most stallions’ yearly output. He has not produced a live foal since 2005, and the last time it was confirmed that he ejaculated in the company of a mare was in 2006. He did it once.

“He was one of the quirkiest horses I’ve ever had,” said the trainer Bob Baffert, who won his third Derby with War Emblem and pulled into the Belmont Stakes with a chance to sweep the Triple Crown. The big, black son of Our Emblem, however, stumbled at the gate and finished eighth.

Two strikes and you’re out. If you’ve been following me here, you know that I have two failed marriages.

“He was real temperamental,” Baffert said. “He did not like other horses or people that much. We used to joke that he may have had an unhappy childhood.”

D., the loner, still the loner as far as I can tell from my vantage point: not able to stop loving, in seek of exit strategy. Did you know that couples go into therapy to separate? D. refuses couples therapy.

Experts say … [T]his could be a case of juvenile bachelor stallion behavior.

Dr. Sue McDonnell, a specialist in equine sexual behavior at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, explained that in the natural setting of a herd, a dominant horse mates with the mares, while the other males stay in the background.

“They become this little troupe of bachelors waiting for their own harem, but they’re submissive to the top dog,” McDonnell said. “They are immature and intimidated.

“By separating him from other stallions, he has a chance to become more confident.


Syllogisms follow:

Her mother called her “Mar.”
Mary’s mother is dead.
No one calls Mary “Mar.”

D. equals War Emblem.
Mary equals Mare.
Mary seeks emblem.

Mary stumbles at the gate.