10.8.2013 Journal Prompt

Image from My Three Sons
Image from My Three Sons

October 8, 2013: It went on all night.

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One thought on “10.8.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    We call it the Music House, but it wasn’t always so. At first it was just noise and no tune to be picked out of anything they played. And sometimes it went on all night and I’d nudge Mr C awake and tell him to sort it out. Mr C knocked on the walls with the heel of a shoe and he yelled at them to keep it down for chrissakes. Then he returned to bed and fell easy into sleep, and I lay awake listening to every wrong note and the same snatches of song played over and over and sounding different with every playing.

    I took to stuffing my ears with cottonwool so that at least it was muffled and I could sleep. It was Mrs Dewie who suggested that. And word spread round the neighbourhood and we all got back our sleep with Mrs Dewie’s idea and the Brooker family continued with their miscued band practice.

    It wasn’t the whole family; it was just the kids, three boys and the girl. And they chose different instruments and a whole sound they had and, as the years stretched their legs and they all of them stood tall, then one day it was music that we all heard. They started getting requests then, songs that we’d heard on the radio, and could they please play it around ten o’clock. And me and Mr C dancing in bed to the ‘Tennesee Waltz’ on a Saturday night and he was soft and slow and gentle and it was the best dancing we’d ever had, if you get my meaning; and I swear Kitty Brewer sounded just like Patsy Cline with her singing.

    And it was then that we started calling it the Music House and it made a difference in all our lives and everyone was whistling and singing and tapping their feet to sounds in their heads. It was a good time and everybody thought so and we could none of us see an end to it. But then old Ma Brooker was taken to the hospital, pale as a ghost when they carried her into te back of the ambulance, and she never came back, and days and nights of quiet and still followed.

    The music, when it did return, had lost all its colour and all its fun and only sad songs were played then. And Mrs Dewie was back with her cottonwool stuffed into her ears; I could tell because sometimes she forgot to take the cottonwool out and Mr Dewie took to shouting for his goddam breakfast and a towel and the bloody polish for his shoes. And I lay awake again, most nights I did, crying now for what was gone; and Mr C was sound asleep beside me and making a noise like a bear growling.

    And some nights, right in the middle of a tear-full song, everything stopped and there was an unsettling silence over the world and something unnatural in that.

    We still call it the Music House, but we don’t make requests these days, and old Mr Brewer looks grey and stooped, and the boys look mean, and Kitty won’t sing no more and so it is just slow dragging music, and we all shake our heads and remember how it used to be.

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