8.20.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from Mad Men
Image from Mad Men

August 20, 2013: Sometimes after dark…

6 Replies to “8.20.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Sometimes after dark he comes over. Sneaking like shadow and creeping quiet and slow as whispers. She sits on her porch, all the lights out, and she waits for him, never sure if this night he’ll come and if he doe what she’ll say to him. She sits on her porch in the black of night and she plays over in her head things she might say to win him to her and things to keep him close enough she can smell the drink on his breath and the dry sweat on his shirt.

    Then, like she’s fallen asleep and suddenly woke, he is there and he says to her what he always says. He says, ‘Goodnight Missy Madison. And I sees stars in your eyes and I smells flowers on your skin.’ She has his words by heart, same as he does, and she almost says them along with him and that gives their night time meetins the substance of dreams.

    She makes space for him next to her on the porch seat and she says as how she was hopin he’d sit with her a while and they could just be together, just the two of ’em.

    ‘Till sleep or mornin overtakes us,’ he says.

    It’s like a song when they talk and an old song that has been sung a hundred times or more and so no surprises in the singin.

    ‘Till stars go out and birds think about wakin,’ she says.

    Jacob Bell and he never walks anywhere straight and he talks to himself when he’s walkin, and his hair is ever all shocked and anyhow, and his clothes carry holes and so does his shoes. And he took to just appearin at Madison’s house when it was dark and no one to see that it was him. And now they sit near enough they can hold hands if they’ve a mind to, and close enough they share each other’s warmth. And they don’t say much, not though they sit for hours some nights. They smoke some and make small noises that are like sighs or breaths or like moans made by dogs that are asleep.

    And Madison, who was engaged once to the mayor’s son and there’s a story in their breakin up and no one knows that story except Jacob Bell and he don’t tell no one even though he thinks about it most every day. And that’s why he’s there some nights, not quite as regular as clocks but there more often than not. And he sits with Madison and he thinks good thoughts and he hopes if thoughts is somethin like sweat that they leak from him and just by bein so close to Madison maybe she has some sense of what he’s thinkin. And Madison maybe does, and that’s why it is she who takes his hand in hers, holds it like it is a small bird or a kitten, and she strokes it, and though she never says, and he never says neither, they are in love, Jacob and Madison, and holdin hands in the dark is everythin and enough.

  2. Maybe because I have some very pretty music on, this one just made me tear up, Lindsay. – to hold someone’s hand like a small bird or kitten – I just read (out of order) the prompt for Aug. 23, He was never good with the camera”, so hands are definitely on my mind today. And the ending of your story reminds me of the powerful adage “enough is plenty.” As always, thank you!

    1. Thank you Susan for reading and sharing your responses with Lindsay. She is a remarkable writer, and I am so glad that she has loyal readers! (Glad, too, that you all are loyal to my pages!) xo-Patty

  3. Thank you Susan – teared up in a good way, I hope. I wrote this and then an hour later wrote to the Aug 23rd prompt… so maybe that’s why hands was the thing in that prompt. And hands and holding hands is beter even tan kissing… I think.

    Thanks, Patty, for continuing to allow us all to participate on your site and to resond to your wonderful wonderful prompts. I could write to every one of them.

  4. Oh dear, look at my spelling… should be ‘holding hands is better than kissing’; and should be ‘respond to your wonderful prompts’. Need to proof read my comments before posting them!!!

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