5 Replies to “11.22.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Cocksucker and presidential whore and trailer trash. That’s what they called her and she was just a kid and looking for something to hitch her star to and why not the brightest star in the sky? And she is, after all, somebody’s daughter and so I thought it was wrong what they were saying.

    My mom says I’m always doing that, always seeing the good in things. And she says I look both ways when I cross the road, by which she means I don’t take sides and I find the reason and rhyme in everything. Sometimes I’m too understanding is what my mom says. And my dad, drinking beer from the bottle, says that’s just sissy-talk and he says I should make up my mind on things and just be somebody. ‘Grow a pair,’ he says, and so we argue a lot, me and my dad.

    Like, he thinks it’s the girl’s fault here, and she just wasn’t brought up right and she wasn’t being respectful with what she did. Never mind that my dad has been giving it to the girl at the garage most Friday nights for the past year when he says he is working late. He has a room booked at The Newbridge Motel and he never uses his real name even though Al on the desk knows him. And the girl’s called Sylvia or Sylvie, and she’s maybe ten years his junior.

    ‘You don’t know,’ I say to my dad. ‘You don’t know how she was brought up or what the President said to her or the promises made between them. You gotta try and see the whole picture.’

    I don’t think bad of my dad for what he does on those Friday nights. I know that it ain’t all good between him and my mom and I know that’s just how it can be. And mom don’t seem to mind none and she’s always laughing these days, where before she’d be carping against my dad’s daily deficiencies – the way he slouches at table and his socks dropped on the bedroom floor and the cap left off the toothpaste or the seat left up in the toilet. And maybe that’s why dad started with Sylvia or Sylvie most every Friday, and like that it all makes sense and the world keeps turning.

    ‘You ain’t blaming the President?’ says my dad, his words all sluicing and slurred in the beer he has drunk.

    I ain’t. And I tell him I ain ‘t. No more than I blame the girl. I understand that there are more pieces to the picture than ever we see in our newspapers. My dad thinks it’s because the girl is pretty that I’m taking her side. Thinking with my dick, he calls it and I try not to laugh and I throw a look at my mom just to see if she gets the irony.

    ‘I just think it is something between them, and between the President and his wife now it is in all the papers and the whole country’s talking about it. And I reckon there’s room for a little more understanding and for kindness and forgiveness.’

    I know that there’s nothing I can say will make my dad see what he don’t want to see. I know that, and yet I can’t just sit there with my mouth shut and him cutting the girl into small and smaller pieces. So we argue into the late hours, long after mom has turned in and long after the beer has run out. He don’t see that I’m really talking about Sylvia or Sylvie and how I don’t blame him for what he does on a Friday night and so he goes on defending the president and damning the cocksucking girl.

    1. What I so admire in the work you share, Lindsay, is that sense of discovery on the page. I start reading your pieces and think I might have an idea where you will take things, and then you turn a corner and go down a different path, one even more satisfying than where I thought you were going (which would also be satisfying, by the way.) But here to take this national conversation into the home of the teller in order to allow him the opportunity for forgiveness, for understanding, for a certain grace. I wonder if you have work out in the world that I might find besides here in these pages…?

      1. No words… or very few. Overwhelmed. Touched. Grateful. Pleased. Verified. Thank you, Patty, for your so many kind words.

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