10.14.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by William Gedney
Photo by William Gedney

October 14, 2013: He was a good man.

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2 thoughts on “10.14.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    He was a good man. That’s what I told him. I said straight out, ‘You is a good man, Chet Rose, and don’t let no one tell you different.’ And I stroked his hair and I sang to him and he slept. And in sleep he was like a shop-soiled angel and so beautiful I ached for him and his skin so smooth and tight and warm.

    And everything bad he did, he had his reasons, and if you only knew then you too would have to love him. He could be gentle as a child and his voice soft and whispering and with those blues eyes sharp and clear as new glass and I kissed him before I even knew his name. Right on the street in front of Cutter’s Liquor store and he said ‘hi there’ and I just upped and kissed him and he didn’t look startled or lost and so I thought that must be how it was with him always.

    And I took his hand in mine and I said as how one day we’d be married, and don’t ask me how I knew, I just did. And we went straight to bed and it didn’t feel loose or stupid or wrong.

    Afterwards, when he’d got his breath back and we was lying all tangled up in each other and he was almost slipping into sleep, I said then that he was a good man and he shook his head and said he wasn’t. He said he’d done things, bad things, and things that couldn’t be put right and God would be his judge one day, but he never said what those things were, not on that first day in my bed.

    Chet Rose – and I had his name tattooed on my arm and it was my first and only tattoo and I told him that was it, that was as good as us being wed, and he nodded and there were tears in those blue-glass eyes, and he said he’d get me a ring and make it official one day. And no one else believed him, but I did.

    Then today. And in town there’s a man lying dead in the dirt, his neck broke, and he had it coming for what he said about me and Chet. And the man said he knew stuff and if he told, then there wouldn’t be no me and Chet no more. And so Chet had to shut him up, see. He had to. And there aint no one would speak up for that dead man, or miss him now he’s gone, or think the world a poorer place without him in it. He got what was coming to him and that’s the truth.

    But there’s laws against killing and I know that; and there’s good men with tin stars on their shirts and they have to uphold those laws. And any time now they’ll be here looking for Chet and wanting to take him in, and who knows what then. So I sit with his head in my lap and I sing in his sleep and I tell him he is a good man and I know that he is and I just hope God is listening.

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