April 29, 2014: She didn’t do anything wrong.
(Well, Friends, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. After more than 800 days in a row of putting up fresh daily prompts, I missed a day. Don’t know how it happened, but yesterday slipped by and I was certain I had made my daily contribution but in fact had not. Sorry about that! End of the semester and so much reading of student work, as well as trying to finish my own projects, and well….All I can say is I will try not to let it happen again. And in the meantime, here’s an extra one for today, dated yesterday. -PMc)
3 Replies to “4.29.2014 Journal Prompt (oops! a day late!)”
I did notice and was concerned that you were not well or something had happened… Glad to hear that it is just the end of term rush of work… though I don’t know how you keep this going when balanced against the marking load you must have. Always grateful.
Thanks, Lindsay. It was very odd that it slipped away from me like that. But hoping I am back on track!
She din’t do nothin wrong. It was her son. He done wrong. I told her. I said to her she was not to blame. But she told it different. She said she loved him too much and maybe that was it. She said a mother shapes the child that it has and so she was responsible. As much as him, she said.
And it got me to thinkin. ‘Bout the law and life and what makes sense and what don’t. See, I sorta get what that woman was sayin. Only it don’t stop with her, cos what she is, well, that’s down to her folks, and what they was that’s down to their folks and so on. Like that, none of us is responsible for anythin.
‘Now don’t you be thinkin,’ my sergeant told me. ‘That way be dragons,’ he said. I don’t never make sense of what the sergeant of police says. He reads books and I think he’s got more learnin than the library holds. So, I’m drinkin one day, and sittin with the teacher – name’s Caldecott – and I puts it to him. I says to him that maybe we is none of us responsible for anythin and what does he make of that.
He says that’s determinism and I’m not alone in my thinkin. He says it’s a philosophical idea and a belief. He says it is a belief against free will and he says it’s somethin dangerous if the common people was to be given it.
‘Imagine,’ he says, ‘what would happen to society if it was declared that we were none of us responsible for anything.’
Then we got too far in our drink to make much of anythin else and even the teacher’s words was without shape and meanin. Leastways, I could hear no sense in ‘em.
But I later woke. And it was still dark, and the wife was by me and asleep. I love her, see. I mean I really love her. So hard that there’s a ache in me sometimes. And seein her sleepin, well, I sorta feel a distance between us and though it’s stupid, I miss her then. And I think back to the accident of us meetin, and I wonder what my life would’ve amounted to if we hadn’t met. And I put the idea of accident together with responsibility and free will, and I get it again what that mother was sayin about her son.
The son’s name is Paulie and he done shot a man and the bullet wasn’t meant to kill but it bounced off a hard stone wall and that changed its direction. And the man who was killed, he walked with a limp so that his body leaned more one way than the other, and that was on account of somethin that happened in his childhood, where his mother let go her hold of him and he was in the road and hit by a car that damaged his leg. And if he had leaned the other way or not at all, then the bullet would have grazed his side and nothin more. And my head hurts then, from the too much drink and from the too much thinkin.
And tomorrow, Paulie goes to the chair, and it don’t feel right to me that he does and I’m hot and confused, and the wife beside me, breathin slow and easy in her sleep, and I recall what my sergeant said ‘bout not thinkin and about dragons bein there. And I still don’t understand what he was meanin, but somethin in what he said feels ‘bout right. So, I lays me down again, and I touches my sleepin wife, makin sure she’s still there, and I shed a tear for that Paulie and his mother, and I let the darkness of sleep overtake me again.