6.28.2014 Journal Prompt

Photo by Robert Frank
Photo by Robert Frank

June 28, 2014: Maybe she prayed.

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One thought on “6.28.2014 Journal Prompt

  1. Lindsay

    We all of us got dreams, right? Wantin the impossible and the out of reach. Wantin what we can’t have and never believin for a minute that dreams can come true. ‘Cept there’s this girl called Shirley and she says dreams do come true and she swears on her mother’s life they do.

    Shirley, and she’s got more reason to dream than most. She lives out on Brooker’s land. There’s a gathering of trailers there, arranged all anyhow, and the farmer lets ‘em use his water pump and he drops off taters in sacks for ‘em and a whole side of a cow once, and crates of apples from his trees and they’s sweeter as shop bought apples. And the church minister says we should be good Samaritans, all of us, which means some of the church collectin is gifted to them trailer families. And Shirley lives there with her mam and her three sisters.

    I got a black and white picture of Shirley that I keeps tucked into the pages of a book in my room. She’s younger in the picture and she’s wearin a kid’s plastic tiara and she’s got her hands held up as prayer hands. She was pretty even then. Shirley gave me the picture, said it was all the gift she had and she said maybe it’d mean more to me than to her.

    I never know what Shirley intends, not right away. I don’t reckon she rightly knows neither. She’s sixteen now and I am too and we swim up in Brooker’s pool sometimes, strippin down to nothing and no shame in what we do. Then after, we lay down and dry in the sun, and I draw messages on her back with the point of my finger and she guesses what those messages might be.

    One day, I gets me a pen, and I writes a whole letter to Shirley and it runs all over her skin and into the folds and creases and the darker places and secret. She says it tickles, but she don’t try to stop me. And that’s when we got to talkin dreams, cos I was sayin how I only had the one dream and that dream was of Shirley and me and not ever bein apart again.

    Shirley said I was soft as a girl and she punched my arm but not like she meant it. And she gave me the picture the next time we met and that’s when she said maybe it’d mean more to me than it did to her. And I asked her, when I was writin my love all over her bare skin and under her breasts and down into the hair between her legs, I asked what it was she dreamed of. I wanted her to say she dreamed of me, like I dreamed of her, but that wasn’t what I got.

    Shirley dreamed of nice dresses, and tables hidden under tablecloths, and forks and knives and spoons arranged in neat order before her, and a waiter dressed smart and standin to serve her, and food so full of flavor that it made her mouth water and her toes curl. I saved up all my pocket silver for a six month and I took Shirley to Matson’s Restaurant. My Uncle Robbie works there, though he’s called Claude when he does, and I asked my Uncle Robbie if he could dress up smart and treat Shirley like she was really somethin.

    That’s when Shirley said that dreams can come true, swears now on her mother’s life they can. And the way she looks at me when she says it, I think she’s sayin something else. And when we is walkin home and it’s dark as cupboards or pockets, she takes my hand and she puts it under her dress, and she asks me to write another message, and I do and we is both breathless in the readin of that message.

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