5.26.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by Anastasia Rudenko
Photo by Anastasia Rudenko

May 26, 2013: She blamed him.

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4 thoughts on “5.26.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    She blamed him and she said it was because she had to blame someone. She stabbed the air with her fingers and it was as though she was stabbing the man, her husband, and he sighed and groaned and made an appeal to her and to everyone. ‘Please,’ he said, ‘For pity’s sake.’

    The policeman who had answered the call on a ‘domestic’ nodded his head and said he understood and he said he had seen this sort of thing before and he gave her a card with the name on it of someone she could talk to. He said he was sorry and again that he understood, but how could he?

    She blamed the nextdoor neighbors, too. Not for the call of complaint they had made and that had brought the policeman knocking at the door. She just blamed them because they had not suffered as she had and all her words for them were spat and thrown.

    And the newsvendor on the corner of Pickett and Vale, and it used to be she’d stop and pass the time of day with him and ask after his mother, and she’d tip him a little extra for the kid he had coming. Now she snapped at him that his calling and calling hurt her ears, and her snapping was enough to quieten him until he thought she was out of earshot.

    And Mr Haldane, the grocer who always cut her extra ounces of yellow cheese at no extra cost and put in one apple above the pound and no charge for that either, and she said his shop window was dirty and there were dead flies lying on their backs there, too, and wasps and she hates wasps, and didn’t he think a cleaner window would bring more custom?

    And old Lofty who helped the children across the road to school of a morning and was there at the other end of the day to see them safely back again, and he had a cheery wave for everyone and he was known by one and all; and she scowled him down and kicked stones across the road if she had to wait and she said to him that she didn’t have all day to be just standing, don’t you know.

    And bus drivers when they dared to stop, they got a bitter earful, too; and if they didn’t stop then her words were put in writing and the marks on the page were like the scratches of owls or crows. The bus drivers took their choice and they took a deep breath first.

    But it was herself that she blamed most of all. She sometimes shut herself in the cold of the bathroom at home and she stared at herself through the cracks in the mirror and she thought hateful thoughts against herself. And time passed, for the world if not for her, and she did not know how she could ever move on past the loss of a son, did not know how she could have let him go so easily and with such a fanfare. The letter, when it came, accompanied a medal with a red and yellow ribbon, and the letter said he had been brave and that he had served his country well – and so she hated her country, too and everything in it.

    And no one blamed her for how she felt – how could they?

    1. An exceptional piece, I think. Really like the technique of seeing her bitterness through the relationships with others…especially thought-provoking in this US Memorial Day…..

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