2.19.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by Stanley Kubrick
Photo by Stanley Kubrick

February 19, 2013: On hot nights…

One Reply to “2.19.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. It’s different now and maybe it’s better. We got air conditioning in the apartment and a shiny lease car in the garage and we can pay all our bills when they come in at start of a month. Ted says that’s got to count for something. It ain’t that way for everyone, he says. Plenty got it harder than us and as hard as we ever had it. And the thing is, Ted’s right about so much, but he’s wrong about some things.

    See, I look at Ted these days, and I don’t see him no more, not really. That’s to say, I don’t see the boy in the man. And just maybe he don’t see the girl in me neither. I don’t know. But she’s there, for sure, and some days I say something just to remind him of who we are inside.

    Like yesterday and I threw open all the windows in the apartment and I let in the air, hot and sticky, and I had to fan myself with a newspaper. Ted come home and he starts cussing and saying what’s the point in paying for air conditioning with his own sweat if he comes home to air he can’t hardly breathe. I get him a cold beer from the fridge and I ask him if it don’t taste better for the rest of him being so hot. He ain’t got no answer to that.

    The kids are both out and so I get all sweet with my words and kissing his neck and touching the buttons of his shirt. And I remind him of how we used to sit out on the fire escape when it was hot; hot as dragons, Ted used to say, hot as bread just pulled from the oven. He laughs then and I think just maybe he remembers.

    ‘Remember how we’d just lay out there, the street sweating below us, and the sky so blue it hurt to look at. And we’d just lay there and we didn’t mind that we was a making a show of our love, kissing bold as neon, and kissing for hours sometimes.’

    Ted laughs some more.

    ‘We could do like that again,’ I tell him.

    He looks at me funny.

    ‘Right now,’ I tell him. ‘Right this bloody second now.’

    He laughs different, more nervous than before, and he says as how it ain’t decent to be kissing like that at our age, and besides that old fire escape is rusted up and it probably won’t take our weight, he says.

    ‘We ain’t no spring chickens.’

    And there it is. Like I said, Ted’s not Ted no more. He’s all respectable and old. I tell him that we is only as old as we feel and he says he feels old as hills or history books and he rubs his back and he makes a noise in the back of his throat like a dog growling.

    And it is better that we can meet all our bills at the front door and there’s bottled beer in the fridge and we can clothe the kids for school. That’s all good. But I reckon as how there’s something missing, too, something we lost a long time ago.

    I close all the windows, making a show of it, and I reset the air conditioning, and Ted lays back on the sofa watching the tv. He’s smiling like he’s got everything he ever wanted; and he don’t see the girl in me and I reckon as how he don’t even look for her no more.

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