9.15.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from Barfly
Image from Barfly

September 15, 2013: She thought he was something.

One Reply to “9.15.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Frannie thought he was something, but we couldn’t see it. She said that when you got to know him he was really special and maybe he was, but to look at he was a bum. I never saw him clean shaven or his hair combed or his shirt pressed. And if you stood up close he smelled of milk that has turned or meat that is a little off.

    His name was Carl and he was always laughing and spitting and cussing. He tried it on with me once. It was late one night at the diner up on Lewisham Drive. He was a little the worse for drink and his words were all shush and slurred. He put his hand on my knee and he said I was the prettiest girl in the place, which being as how I was the only girl in Denny’s Diner was no real compliment. And he said he wanted to kiss me all over and when he said ‘all over’ he said it slow as syrup pulled from a spoon. I put him into a cab and sent him home to Frannie.

    I tried to tell Frannie the next time I saw her, but she said he was just fooling around and he was always doing that. It didn’t mean anything, she said. He always ended up in her bed and that was just how it was.

    Frannie was smart. Everybody thought so. And she scrubbed up pretty and was good to be with. It didn’t make any sense. Her folks were nice, too. They had a big house and two cars and they were respectable people. And there was Frannie slumming around in an old dressing gown all day Sunday, and running to Carl’s beck and call and his fingers smelling of the girl that works at the all-night bakery up on Madison.

    We started up with the girls’ night about then and it became a regular thing. I think it was really so that we could take Frannie out of that place even if it was just for one night. We’d dress up and go somewhere special, some place where the men wore suits and smelled as good as the women. We drank wine out of long-stemmed glasses and ate dinner from china plates and with napkins placed in our laps by the waiters who were never counted forward. And we made it a thing never to talk about Carl, not even if Frannie brought him up.

    Then one night there was this guy called Phil and he paid our Frannie some attention and we gave them space, hoping that it might just turn out to be something. He bought her a drink and they went outside for a cigarette. They were gone a while and we were already writing off the unspeakable Carl and feeling pleased with ourselves. When Frannie came back she was alone and her cheeks were flushed and her dress all crumpled. She laughed and she told us conspiratorially that she’d just fucked Phil up against the wall out back. We looked at her and we were shocked. ‘If you don’t tell Carl, I won’t either,’ she said.

    I didn’t know what to think then. None of us did. Maybe we were a little jealous or maybe we didn’t really approve. It made no sense. And Frannie was laughing and really enjoying herself.

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