3 Replies to “8.4.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. He swept me off my feet. That’s fair to say. He came into town and just lifted me up. He was not so old as might be called old, but a long way from the kids who, for the price of a beer, wanted to put their clumsy hands under your clothes. We went dancing and he was so respectful and all the other girls were jealous. Ed had eyes for only me.

    He said stuff, too. Things that made me feel funny inside. Ed said I was the prettiest girl in the place, any place, and he said I took the air out of a room and the sense out of all his thinking. I didn’t always understand, but I got that I was special to him and I’d never had that before.

    Ed had money, too, and a fancy camera and he kept taking my picture. Hundreds he took and I don’t look like me in any of them. Ed made me look different. Like there was a light in me, which with him beside me there was. And he said I could be something in this world and I could be everything. And he could help me, he said.

    We ran away together. He had a car and he parked it at the end of my street one night and he waited till I had my things together and we just left. First city we came to we paid a man to make us man and wife and I didn’t think it would be any better than that. I was seventeen and Ed was thirty-five.

    He was gentle at first and all his words were soft as feathers and he made me the centre of his world and he was the centre and all the edges of mine. Ed showed me how to walk so that I looked important and he schooled my voice so that it was not my voice but something different. And he paid for fine dresses and for my hair to be cut and coloured and styled. When I looked in the mirror, I was not really me.

    There were auditions after that, in places that were dark, with men in suits that did not fasten about their middles and they watched me and they listened and they licked their fingers and wrote my name down on pieces of paper with questions and they passed them to a plain girl with glasses.

    They wanted to know if I had any experience. It was like they were afraid to ask me themselves. I said that I had and I rattled off the list that Ed had rehearsed with me. It was all a lie, but Ed said that was ok. The industry was a lie he said and we were just playing the same game.

    I got small parts in films, but they never came to anything. Ed got cross then and he was different and difficult to understand. His words were hurt-words and drink-words and I felt small and stripped when he looked at me through the bottom of a glass. And money was suddenly a problem where it hadn’t been before. And he sold the dresses he’d bought me and we moved to a smaller and dirtier apartment. I said we’d be alright. I said something would turn up.

    Then he started hitting me, where no one could see. Blue-black bruises to my breasts and on my back. And he cut me once and laughed when he did it. And one day my arm was broken and he said he was sorry after that, but it didn’t change things.

    It took a while for me to see past the world that he’d invented for me and a while to get the real measure of him. But now I have and so today I packed my things while he slept and I left. I didn’t have a plan. I just reached the end. And I walked east from the apartment and I just kept walking till I came to the centre of the city. And I put my suitcase down on the sidewalk, like I might be waiting for someone, and I just stood there suddenly understanding that I had nowhere else to go.

  2. Thank you, Patty. Thank you for reading, when you must be just whacked with tiredness. And thanks for the continuing encouragement. Take care of yourself.

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