One Reply to “8.3.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. We laughed about it once. Years back. Laughed about how they were always to be found and always there in the one place. They had dreams then, of travelling and seeing the world. We all had dreams then. France and England and America. But they were always there, on the via Mesto, hands in their pockets, and waiting and watching the cars leaving the town. We joked and said they’d be old men there one day.

    They couldn’t get away from school quick enough and they got jobs in the town when school was done. Mostly working with their hands and using their charm; they were charming then in a boyish way, and easy too. Everything was easy. They made small money, but they didn’t seem to mind. There was enough for beer and fancy shoes, and in time they bought scooters with mirrors and leather seats. We thought that was the start and soon they’d be gone, but they rode from one end of the via Mesto to the other and no further.

    Sometimes they carried pretty girls on the backs of their scooters, the girls taking turns, and the scooters growling and dragging shrill laughter and screams behind them and American music playing on a blue plastic transistor radio. Still they had plans, and they talked of the places they would see one day, and sure the girls could come, too. And when they talked of those far away places their voices were all singing and song, and their eyes held sparks, and they said they were putting a little away each week, a very little.

    Those girls became wives soon enough and soon were mothers and so the boys were become men and they had to work at two jobs just to make ends meet. They sold their scooters and wore plainer shoes. Sometimes they were short before the end of the month and the family was hungry and their savings were all spent and sometimes they had to borrow from their parents.

    Saturday nights they still meet on the via Mesto, every Saturday for years, and they drink cheap bottled beer and smoke cigarettes with names like Malboro and Winston. And they forget, for just an hour or two, that they are men with families and bills needing paid and wives grown thick in the waist and all their women-words spat. And they talk about the past, when they were boys and they rode their scooters the length of the street and pretty girls were on the back and those girls holding them tight and never letting go. And they talk about the places they’d wanted to see, the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace and the Empire State Building. And the drink makes them giddy and they dream all over again and they say that one day they will, when the kids are all grown and they have a bit of money behind them.

    And they laugh then, remembering how we had said they’d be old men on the via Mesto one day and they are.

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