1.5.2014 Journal Prompt

Wil Blanche Photo: Young Lady  Taking a Break Along the Hudson River, NYC, 1973
Photo (Taking a Break Along the Hudson River, NYC) by Wil Blanche

January 5, 2014: She wanted beauty.

3 Replies to “1.5.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. Once, she wanted beautiful. It is an easy mistake to make. We all make it sometime. Mostly when we’re young and we do not know any better, or when we’re drunk and then everything can be beautiful, or when we’re so alone and the rest of our lives so ugly. And men are so rarely beautiful.

    His name was Gavril and she thought he might just be the one. He was tall as a door and his hair was the colour of haloes and his eyes so blue they might be ice or flame. And he said she was beautiful, which she knew she was not. They met in a crowded bar and she laughed a lot and played with her hair, and she said of course he could kiss her. That’s the story she told, once. How they kissed before they’d really spoken. The stories had to be beautiful, too.

    Gavril, and his hands were soft as feathers when he stroked her breasts, and his words so like poetry she wanted to write everything down in a book. Sometimes she did and now she can see that what was beautiful then is nothing more than words. Gavril, and for almost a year she went everywhere with him and they had their picture taken and those pictures tucked into the pages of books she was reading at the time. She finds them still, by chance, when she is leafing through something she thinks she has read. The words on the pages seem unfamiliar and Gavril in the pictures looks always away from her. She does not know how she missed that.

    She found him fucking her sister in their bed, her beautiful sister, the one they said had got her mother’s looks as if it is a present that can only be given once.

    Then there was Kasia and her eyes were dark as holes and when she walked it was as though she danced, and every movement of her hands was a swan gesture; and maybe beauty is only something that can be owned by women, she thought. So they met in a crowded bar. And she laughed and played the ends of her hair through her fingers and they kissed before they’d even spoken. Stories can become confused sometimes and beauty can blind one to the truth.

    Kasia kisses left her dizzy and gasping for breath, like a landed fish that is out of water; and Kasia touching her, and seeing Kasia coming towards her on a busy street, and hearing Kasia’s voice calling from another room, and all their breathless days together were maybe beautiful. That’s what she’d like to think, except Kasia had a temper sometimes, for no reason. And she’d cut and cut with the hot blade of her spite, and dresses she’d spoil, tearing the fabric into a ragged labial-gape, undressing the cloth, and unweaving every thread that held them together.

    Now she is older and she is alone most days and she does not hold beauty so high as she did before. She sits on the edge of the old pier with her legs kicking the air and the sun on her face. And old men talk about her and they tell me her story. I see her sitting there, her face tilted towards the light and her eyes closed and old men talking in my ear. And just for a moment she really is everything she wants and she is beautiful.

    Then the sun disappears behind a cloud and she is only beautiful then in my head, and I make believe I kiss her though we have never spoken.

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