One Reply to “12.17.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. Carrie doesn’t drink. Not since way back when she had so much she didn’t now what she was doing and she woke up one morning next to Frankie and she was without her clothes and so was he. Frankie, the guy who sits slumped on the corner or Cooper Street, a mangy dog called Prince curled into sleep at his feet, and Carrie woke up face to face with him. So, she doesn’t drink these days.

    Frankie wasn’t the first, but she was sure he was going to be the last. Even the thought of what had happened when she was too drunk to know better, makes her feel unclean. Frankie with dirt under his finger nails and a silver spittle thread unspooling from his chin and all his words mixed with cheap liquor so they sluice around on his tongue and make no sense when he spits them out. Now she drops a silver dollar into his paper cup when she sees him and he doesn’t remember who she is.

    But she remembers. She recalls that waking morning and Frankie something grey and sleeping beside her. His face was pinched and his every breath a burr rasp and he smelled of meat when it has gone off or milk when it is sour. Carrie’s head hurt and she felt a little sick. Frankie had one arm heavy across her, his hand still clutching her breast so she was in no doubt. She loosened his fingers, one by one, and she slipped out from under his hold.

    She ran the water too hot and she scrubbed her skin pink in the shower and still she thought there was a smell. She brushed her teeth twice and gargled with mouthwash that she swallowed rather than spit it out, like she might be unclean inside too.

    Frankie woke about eleven and she said maybe he should shower. He smelled his fingers and he smiled and said maybe he wouldn’t. She gave him coffee with four sugars and she fried him up some bacon and eggs. He kept scratching at his cock, and the way he looked at her she knew what he was thinking.

    He made a noise when he drank his coffee, a sucking sound like she heard when the water in her metal sink drained away; and he kept his mouth open when he was eating and his dog that had slept out on the porch ate bits of bacon from his hand and licked the grease from Frankie’s fingers.

    ‘Look,’ said Carrie. ‘About last night.’

    Frankie sniffed at his fingers again and winked at her. ‘Don’t you worry none. No one’d believe me if I said. Don’t really believe it myself.’

    She gave him the contents of her purse, twenty some dollars and change, and she thanked him, like he’d done her a service. And when he left she cleaned the chair where he’d sat and she burned the sheets from her bed and showered again. And she swore then not to ever drink again.

    So Carrie doesn’t drink these days and she finds now that she can face herself in the mirror each morning.

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