4 Replies to “3.26.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. I worked in a bar once. Oh it was years back in time. So far back it might not have been me. I served drinks to men with reasons to forget who they were and women who wanted to remember. Yes, I know, that don’t make no sense, but the working in a bar bit is true.

    It was the summer of ’76 and the sky was forever blue and all the doors and the windows in the pub were thrown wide and still it was a breathless time. My hair was long and the flare of my jeans was wide and my shoes had an inch on the sole. It was the summer before I started university and I got this job working two shifts a day in a bar in Camberley.

    And there was this girl and she came into the bar with a friend and they had a book with the words in it for ordering something to drink. She was pretty, the girl, and her friend was pretty too. Shit, the whole world was pretty back then. They were from Norway or Sweden and they were here for the summer. They drank bitter in half pint dimpled glasses and they drank them at the bar. She kept looking at me, you know, this pretty girl with her pretty friend, and I just knew.

    Next day she came in by herself. She said her name was Anna and she wanted to know what my name was. The boss was downstairs changing the casks and so I let her pull her own drink and I stood behind her and showed her how. She smelled of flowers and her hair was soft against my cheek.

    After my shift was over we went walking, through the park and holding hands. She kept starting sentences in English and then she’d slip into her own language. It was sort of sweet not knowing exactly what she was saying but having an idea. We walked in circles and for hours and the sun shifted over us.

    We kissed a couple of times and that was something, two girls kissing on the common in Camberley. Then when it was late we went back to where she was staying. Her friend was out so we had the place to ourselves, a two-room apartment with views across to the pub. She undressed and got into the one bed and I thought that I was dreaming. Maybe I was. She said something in her own language and my name was thrown in there somewhere and that was like dreaming, too.

    She came into the pub once or twice after that, but I was always busy and up to my tits in glasses, and lager with blackcurrant tops, and iced wine spritzers in tall glasses. It was the summer of ’76 and the sky was blue and everyone was drinking more, and Anna was just someone who drifted in and drifted out again. Or maybe I dreamed that whole thing it was so far back.

  2. Gertie, I am so glad that you got this! A reader might think it is about Anna and her native language, but it’s about the girl working in the bar and about her native language: a bit earthy and not really the educated speak she will acquire through her university education.

    Glad you both enjoyed the piece and being taken back, albeit breifly, to 1976 and that pretty summer.

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