4 Replies to “6.22.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. He just wanted peace. Was that too much to ask? Today, he wanted peace to read his book. Yesterday, peace to listen to the radio or the end of a film he’d been watching. Sometimes just peace to think, to turn his thoughts over in his head as a gardener turns the soil and hopes by such turning to improve the garden and what grows there.

    Deirdre’d suggested the beach. She thought he was looking a bit pale and a day under the sun would do him good. She had a theory about sunlight and what it could do to a person’s spirits and she thought maybe it would work with him.

    ‘Isn’t this just great?’ she said.

    He made a noise in the back of his throat and nodded and opened his book. He hoped that she understood. He lay back in the chair and began reading.

    ‘You should wear your sunglasses, Stu,’ she said. ‘Reading in this light could hurt your eyes. Did you bring them? I did say you ought to. They were by the telephone. You could wear mine if you like. I think I’m just going to sit here and sleep.’

    He’d packed his. He put down his book and rummaged through the bag by his chair. He put his sunglasses on without saying a word and sat back again and opened his book once more.

    He was half a page in and the threads of the story were beginning to be clear in his memory and he found his place again, the place he was when he’d stopped two days before. He made a small mewling noise of contentment and shifted his weight in the chair.

    ‘You made that noise again, Stu,’ said Deirdre. ‘Like a cat or a puppy when it’s happy. Must be a good book, or a good part in the story, or a good line. You could read me some if you want, Stu. Remember how you used to do that? How you used to read the best bits of books to me and we’d talk about the writing? Do you remember?’

    Stu remembered. Days when they stayed in bed and they were always touching each other and kissing and the curtains were open and the sunlight spilled into the bedroom where they were. And Deirdre was quieter then, he thought, and so he sometimes read her things of interest from what he was reading, and Deirdre listened. Then they’d be kissing again and touching and the sun on his back and Deirdre making noises in the back of her throat.

    He breathed deeply and held air in the ball of his cheeks, and held it before letting it out in a long drawn out sigh, and through it all he did not lower his book.

    ‘Did you put on sunscreen, Stu? Only, I wouldn’t want you to burn. Feels like you could burn on a day like today. I might need you to put some on my back in a while.’

    Stu shut his book and he held up one finger and he said, ‘Listen.’

    Deirdre listened. She cocked her head on one side, like a bird, and she gave all her thought to listening.

    ‘I don’t hear it?’ She said. ‘Nothing.’

    ‘Precisely,’ he said.

    There was a pause then and a quiet and Stu thought about opening the book yet again. He waited a moment, expecting that she would have something more to say. She was still listening and not sure what it was she was listening for. He settled back in his chair and made to open the book, turning the pages till he found where he was again.

    Deirdre lay back in her chair.

    ‘I think sunlight is important, Stu. I think it makes us better people. It does something to us and we feel happier. I read that some place. It affects our moods, that’s what I read. Makes us happier.’

    Behind his sunglasses, Stu closed his eyes and pretended to sleep.

  2. Oh, relationships. . . like the two ends of a battery – they’re supposed to make their connection, of course at opposite ends, negative to positive, positive to negative, but try that for 20 years or more . . . your batteries most usually need to be replaced. . .

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