One Reply to “6.29.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. I wanted to see, too. But Tommy said I couldn’t and he said it was cos I was a girl and I wouldn’t understand. Slips said the same and so did Tin-Man. They was always pulling that card, me being a girl. Like it was something I could change. Like it was something less than they was.

    I fought Tommy once and I didn’t fight like no girl and Tommy don’t ever forget the bloody nose I gave him, blood running easy and red and staining the front of his shirt like flowers opening. Tommy says it was a lucky punch and he says he don’t hit girls and that was how I won that fight. But he and I know different. I remember his fist against my cheek, hard as thrown rock, and I was bruised for a week after and now he’s saying like he don’t hit girls. He’s scared of me a little and that’s why he pulls all that being a girl shit.

    And Slips, fastest runner in the school and he’s got medals to show for it and a coach is teaching him how to run faster, his arms sawing the air and his whole body pushing. And Slips is a different shape these days, like there’s more to him and that’s on account of the training he does. And he says he’s cut more than twenty seconds off his time and there’s someone from the Nationals has an eye on his progress. But he can’t run so fast I can’t catch him when he’s making fun. He says he lets me catch him sometimes, but I hear him blowing like a horse at full gallop and I know he’s really giving it his best, and still I catch him. And Slips says I can’t see, me being just a girl.

    ‘It ain’t for the likes of you,’ Tin-Man says and they huddle closer together looking at what Tommy has to show ‘em. And Tin-Man talks a different talk when it’s just me and him. Up at Willow Park, and it’s so dark there you can see a hundred-thousand pinprick stars in the sky, and Tin-Man and me kissing under ‘em stars, and he’s putting one hand under my shirt and I push it away. He says my name then, soft and calling, and he says how he loves only me and how he’ll never do me wrong, and he tries with his hand again and this time I let him. And now he says what Tommy’s showing ‘em ain’t for the likes of me, like I don’t mean nothing to him no more.

    I push ‘em a little, but I don’t really care so I don’t push with any heart. Then I see. In a space between Slips and Tin-Man. It’s a magazine they’re looking at, and it’s one of ‘them’ magazines, where the girls wear no clothes and they look like they’re comfortable like that and no shame in men looking at their everything on show, and boys looking, too.

    I swear then, good as any goddamn boy, and I tell ‘em they’re stupid, and if they think them girls in the magazine would give any of ‘em the time of day then they is just shit for brains.

    But thing is, mad as I am at Tommy and Slips and Tin-Man – especially Tin-Man after what I let him do up at Willow Park and now he’s going soft and hard over some paper girl with no clothes on – thing is, mad as I am at ‘em boys, all of ‘em, I’m madder as a shook bag of wasps at the girls in the magazine and how they make it for the rest of us girls who is trying to be something in this world. I turn my back and walk away and I’m crying then, but so as the boys don’t see.

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