12.2.2013 Journal Prompt

Photo by Vivian Maier
Photo by Vivian Maier

December 2, 2013: He had some kind of touch.

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One thought on “12.2.2013 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    I don’t know what it was exactly, but I swear it was somethin. He just had a way, you know, and near everybody liked him. Teachers and shopkeepers and people he sat beside on the bus. He didn’t have to say nothin, and someone, a stranger, would start talkin to him and bein all friendly like they was somehow suddenly related.

    Once, I thought maybe it was a smell that he wore. The smell of melted butter and cinnamon, and bread that was new-pulled from the oven. Petey’s father ran a bakery, see, and Petey worked there some early mornins if they was short-staffed, and those days at school his clothes smelled of fruit loaf and bagels and scones. And sittin next to him in class then was like sittin next to a log fire in winter and I sat close enough I could touch him.

    But it wasn’t just the smell and it wasn’t just people. If we was feeding ducks or swans or blue tits in the park, he always got them eatin out of the palm of his hand. And pigeons in the town centre and they knowed him and they came to his cluck and call and they settled on his hands or his shoulders, even when he had no corn or grits to feed ‘em.

    And dogs was always offerin their lumpy heads to be patted and cats rubbed theyselves against his legs and curled at his feet or in his lap, purrin under his strokin hand. And I never heared him lift his voice to a shout, and maybe that was part of it. His words was always soft and liltin, like music or somethin sung. I closed my eyes some days and just listened, not to the words but to the sound of his voice, and it was somethin.

    There was a goodness in him, it seemed, and Petey wholly good.

    Girls, too, when he was older; girls just like those wanton cats and dogs, and they was always brushin up against him and offerin theyselves to him. Takin his hand and puttin it under theys sweaters and just holdin it there, palm to tit. Mandy did that and she told everyone it was like bein touched by god; and Lizabeth kissed him in the book cupboard at school and she said he tasted of communion wafer; and Carly let him touch her downstairs, his hand in her pants, and she said it was as sweet as a prayer.

    But it was me Petey chose to be with in those school years and I felt sorta blessed. And it was everythin those other girls said, everythin and more. His kissin and touchin and everythin. He had a way and a taste and a smell that was as near to bliss as angels or saints ever had, that’s what I thought. And my Mam and Da liked him and they parceled up their scold words and put them away whenever he was there and they must have knowed what we was up to behind the closed door of my bedroom.

    I don’t know what it was exactly with Petey, but it was somethin, and I let him do things no other boy had done and it just got better and better. And afterwards, I’d let him talk and talk, and it didn’t matter what he said.

    Course we was kids back then and it couldn’t last. He’s with someone else now and that’s ok cos I’m with a decent guy who works hard and he’s good with our own kids and he says he loves me more than beans and rice. But there are days when I see Petey in the park, watchin him from a distance, and the birds are still eatin out of his hands or settled on his head and his arms, and he’s like a picture I saw of saint Francis, and seein Petey like that I am all warm and soft inside.

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