10.6.2013 Journal Prompt

slide-2-638October 6, 2013: He thought he was clever.

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One thought on “10.6.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    He thought he was so clever in his smart suit and his hair cut neat and his teeth all white and he was always smiling. Pretty as a picture he was. And always with his fucking camera and Arty always taking pictures, even when you didn’t want no picture taken. He said you never knew. It just might be that this picture would be the one, Arty said, or maybe the next picture would just do it. He never really explained what he meant by the one, or what it would do, but a picture of Shirley kissing Mike found its way into the pages of a newspaper article on ‘Love on the Subway’ and Shirley was mad as snakes because she wasn’t with Mike no more.

    Arty was cute in a way, like the boy in the man was always on show. And pretty, like I said. At first, all that could be endearing. And he laughed at everything, even at Shirley spitting teeth when she found herself kissing Mike in black and white and the whole world could see it, and her new boyfriend, Matthew, didn’t think they could be together after that. And Arty just shrugs and laughs and he trots out some bullshit about the camera never lying. He got twenty five bucks for that picture and he bought Shirley a new scarf and he thought that would make everything right with her.

    I dated him once. We ate out at Merlin’s Eatery. Five bucks a plate and all you could eat. He spent a little extra and we had house wine in any colour we wanted, so long as it was white or red. He got us a table away from everyone else and we talked in whispers and it was like we were alone. Except, he kept leveling his camera at everything. He said it was on account of he wanted to remember every small detail, that a first date was special and it was the start of something. He fiddled with my hair and shifted the lamp on the table; and he told me to tilt my head just so, a little more to the right, and to make my mouth into kiss-lips, and perfect.

    I didn’t really get it. He was making every moment a glossy picture moment and not really what it was. It wasn’t like a date at all, walking home afterwards and stopping to pose under the streetlights and in the shadows of shop doorways. It was like a photo-shoot. Even when he came up for coffee and we were messing about on the sofa and his hand under my blouse, that fucking camera came out again.

    About a month later Shirley met me at work and she was snake-fizzing angry again and she showed me what Arty had done now. There was a full picture story in this magazine, spread across four pages, and it was called ‘All The Way To First Base’ and it was me and Arty – mostly me – and it was that night at Merlin’s Eatery, and the last picture was me with my tits out and a man’s hand reaching for me and that was Arty’s hand.

    Yes, so he thinks he’s clever with his smart suit and his hair and his teeth, and a bigger camera these days. And he’s still so much a boy and still taking pictures of girls without their permission and pictures of their legs and their underwear, only he did it once too often and a man called Bull laid him out with a single punch and Arty aint so pretty as before, not with the scar he has under one eye. And Shirley and me, well we don’t no more give him the time of day, not after what he did.

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