One Reply to “3.7.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. Our dad don’t live with us no more. We live with him, but only on Saturdays. He’s got a two room apartment that is hot as ovens in summer and cold as iceboxes in winter. And he says he’s down on his luck and one day it’ll be different and he waves a ticket in the air and he says maybe this week his numbers’ll come up.

    It smells funny in our dad’s bedroom. Like he’s wearing old socks or like he’s farted too many times. The air is sour and sweet at the same time and I don’t know but I think I like that smell. In our mum’s house everything is as clean as lemons or flowers and we have to take our shoes off at the door and we’re always washing our hands and our faces and we mustn’t forget to wash behind our ears or our mum’ll send us back again with cross words.

    Sometimes on Saturdays we go out. Our dad takes us to the park, which costs nothing. And he really plays with us, like he’s six again, and he laughs and he makes us laugh, too. And we eat ice-creams on frosty days or hot pies in summer. And he puts one arm around me and one around Lucy and like that we are the one creature.

    He lets us stamp our feet in deep puddles or lie on the grass where the signs say to keep off or make such a noise that heads turn to see if we’re safe. And he just laughs and makes a face like he’s pretending to be shocked or like he’s the one that’s done wrong.

    And we buy food that’s already cooked and our dad doesn’t have a table or plates or knives and forks so we eat sitting on his bed and we eat out of boxes and it’s like we’re having an indoor picnic and the tele next door can be heard through the wall calling out the wrong numbers and our dad lets us drink every last drop of fizzy through a straw even when it makes a noise like an old man clearing his throat.

    And sometimes there’s a girl called Brenda and she’s pretty and she talks so gently and she strokes our hair and she says we look just like our dad and she strokes his hair too and she kisses our dad so we know she loves him and she calls him honey which is something sweet and she shows me and Lucy how to dance and how to put on lipstick and we get to see what she keeps in her handbag which is full of treasures.

    One day in a week and we can be mad as fools and we don’t have homework and our dad tells us stories to make us sleep – only we don’t sleep. Not right away and so he tells us another story and another. And the light goes from the room till we can’t see his face or any other part of him and then there’s only his voice. And he says how he loves us and how this is the best part of his week and we tell him it’s the best part of ours too.

    The next day he takes us back to our mum and he puts money into our pockets and sweets and small scraps of paper with messages for us to read when he’s not there and he say when we read what he’s written we’re to hear his voice saying the words and it’ll be like he’s there always.

    Our mum sits us down afterwards and she asks us about what we did at dad’s and she asks if we brushed our teeth and if we ate up all our vegetables and if we were polite and not putting our feet on the chairs. And especially she asks if our dad has any friends by which she means if he has a girl to take our mum’s place.

    We don’t ever tell her the true picture of what it’s like at our dad’s and we don’t ever mention Brenda and her kissing dad and our dad and Brenda sleeping on the sofa some nights and making a noise like puppies crying and breathing hard like they are fighting or racing. That way we get to live with our dad every Saturday and it’s something to look forward to.

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