He had a lot to say—only he couldn't say it.
Whenever he'd open his mouth, it was like, “...someone took hold of my throat," he said. "The words just got all tangled up.”
I knew him back then. He lived to ride horses. And his stuttering might have been the reason for that. On horseback, he could go a whole day without saying anything, which suited him just fine. Because whenever he did open his mouth, it was like trying to extract a tooth. His eyes blinked, his face grimaced. Embarrassment mixed with determination.
Inevitably, someone would finish his sentence for him.
“I hated that,” he
said. “People think they're helping you out when they do that, but they're not. It's like they're kinda saying, 'Geez, man, I'm sorry you stammer so bad.'”
The older he got, the harder it was to speak. He became the butt of a few high-school jokes from fools who couldn't look past his slow-moving mouth. His confidence went down, he quit spending time in the company of his peers—more time in the company of horses.
“I just didn't fit in,” he said. “And if ever I was around girls, I just prayed…