Posted on January 18, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair1.18.2014 Journal Prompt Image from Beneath the Harvest Sky January 18, 2014: He was always so serious. Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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You can be too serious. That’s what I think. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I know life can be a fuckin bitch. I know it can bite you where you’ve been bitten before. Lived with a husband that pissed away all the money we ever had and his hands always made fists and he punched me where the bruises could not be seen, every day for a year. I know how hard it can be to draw breath with a broken rib and I know what it is to listen in the dark for a footfall you know on the stairs, measuring how drunk he is by the spaces between each step and hoping he is way too drunk to want you this night.
But I got out of there, see. And I thank god every day that I did, And I promised myself then that I’d laugh more. And I do. I wake up and there’s a space beside me in the bed and I laugh and it don’t hurt me like it once did. And I throw open the curtains and I laugh at the sun that is in the sky; or some days it’s rainin and the tears of rain are not my tears and so I laugh; or a hard frost makes pretty flowers on the window glass and it’s so cold in the room that my breath can be seen, and I laugh then, too, just cos I can.
So when I seen him, this boy who was almost a man, and he was sitting on a bench in the park and looking like he was carryin the cares of the world on the hunch of his shoulders, I kinda knew him. I sat down beside him and I waited. I felt sorry for him and I wanted to help. Spread the love, you know. And he was pretty as make you want to kiss him. We sat without speakin at first. Just bein together, with a space between us, and the small sound of birds thinkin we was there to drop bread for ‘em on the grass that said to ‘keep off’.
Then I started singin. Under my breath at first. Small enough he could just hear. Like the whine of an insect. A bee nuzzlin the heart of a flower or a mosquito searchin in the dark. He turned to look at me. I smiled and turned the volume up. He thought I was mad or weird or somethin. He looked away. A little louder then, and my feet tapping the path and one hand drummin against the arm of the bench. And you could see it, I swear, a softenin of his face and the threat of a smile playin at the corner of his serious pout.
I asked him if he could dance. He shook his head, I reached out for his hand and said I’d show him and I kept on singin as we moved in forbidden step across the untrodden grass. And people stopped to stare, like it was a thing of small wonder, and they clapped when we was done and we bowed and we did not let go of each other, holdin on to what we had, him holdin my hand and me holdin his.
Took him back to the room that I had and he fitted right into the space in my bed and I laughed and he laughed, too. And we lay down together and he was gentle as a girl at first, and his kisses was tentative, and his fingers soft as feathers. And the boy was a man when he woke, and I listened to him dressing in the near dark, and I recalled then that my husband had been just the same once.