Posted on July 7, 2014 by Patricia Ann McNair7.7.2014 Journal Prompt Photo by Carl Mydans July 7, 2014: She came back at dusk. 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
4 Replies to “7.7.2014 Journal Prompt”
I told her, “Thank you,” and was met with a deserved shrug. It was no easy errand, I knew that. The thought of facing that deplorable man again was something I could barely stomach myself, however, she was brave and had always been fond of courting danger. I knew she would understand my inability and be up for the task, even so, I can’t imagine what kind of secret she had to trade in order to obtain our quarry. Considering what I had to give, it could not have been something so trivial or easy to part with. She appeared exhausted, depleted of that lively quality that made married men drunk. The cold had left her cheeks burning and I could feel it from my spot by the window. In that moment I felt shameful and unworthy of such a loyal friend, but beyond that, I was ineffably grateful for another chance to conduct my experiment with her. Still wearing her scarf and coat she went to the kitchen to grab a single plate, a steak knife, and a fork, then sat across from me at the table and procured the familiar package. For a moment we both stared at it, then at each other. I had no idea if what was about to happen would be in any way similar to the experiences I had had before, especially since on each occasion the results were staggeringly different from the preceding trials. I will admit that I was at least somewhat concerned for her, but all the while I could hardly contain my own excitement. She urged me to proceed and I gently unwrapped the kraft paper to reveal another hideous blue cutlet. It reeked of sulfur and perspired an oily mixture that seemed to swirl in itself. She cut two small squares and motioned to put away the rest of the indigo meat. Before wrapping it back up I told her to cut one more square for each of us, and what was once a look of solemn anxiety on her face became a subtle and yet electrifying grin.
Thanks, Terrill, for giving this a shot and for sharing it with us. I am glad to find you here in these pages, and hope you continue to write and share!
I am drawn into this. I don’t fully understand what is going on, but this feels so deep. I like the details and I want them to add up to something… they feel like they should. Is this maybe a part of something fuller? Good stuff.
It was late in the day and the sun goin down so that the light was grey and thin. And the air smelled of sweat and cut grass and dog breath. I’d already locked the door ‘gainst the comin night and had settled to a dinner of reheated potatoes and some cold slices of lamb and a glass of beer. The tv was on but I warn’t really watchin it; it was on for company, I reckon.
‘You should get a cat,’ my sister Martha had said once. ‘They don’t take no lookin after and you wouldn’t be so lonesome with a cat. Not nohow.’
Martha means well, but I warn’t for gettin no cat. The tv on was just fine. Besides, din’t Lily drop by once a week, with her hair all sunshine and curl and her hips swayin when she walked and her words like song when she spoke. And for fifty bucks she undresses and gets into bed with me. We kiss is all, holdin one to the other like we’s been lost and now we is found, and we touch in ways that is soft and strokin. Wednesday nights, she comes, and she ain’t never missed a Wednesday yet.
So, when there’s a knock at the door, and I’m still at my dinner and it ain’t no Wednesday, well, I’m a little surprised. I takes my time puttin my plate in the kitchen and adjustin my pants so as I look decent, and I turns the sound right down on the tv.
There’s a second knock at the door. It don’t sound impatient, but maybe like the first knock was so quiet and might not’ve been heard and so the second knockin is a little louder.
When I open the door I recognize her straight away, though it’s been near on fifteen years she’s been gone. All the words are quietly punched out of me and I stand lookin at her, and she looks at me, and the light behind her is disappearin.
She’s carryin a suitcase and it’s heavy and all pullin her body down on one side so she looks crooked. She don’t smile and she don’t say a word. She just stands there waitin. But what exactly she’s waitin for I don’t reckon I could say.
Fifteen years and not a word to tell where she was or who she was with. Not a postcard with a picture of the sea or a picture of a no-place city street. Not a call to let me know, not even a call with no voice at the other end of the line and just someone listenin. Fifteen years gone and now she’s back.
I stand aside and with a gesture of my hand I let her in. She takes off her coat and waits to be asked to sit. I fetch her a beer and I put some potatoes and cut lamb on a plate for her. She eats in silence and I do, too, and the flickerin light from the tv is the only light in the room. And in that silence I can hear Martha sayin I is some sort of fool, that I is soft and stupid and that I shoulda just shut the door on her.
After, I take her plate away and still we ain’t spoken and it’s late. I turn the tv off so it’s dark and I can’t see the look on her face and she can’t see mine. We go to through to the bedroom and I can hear her undressin. Then we gets in beside each other and we lie with a small space between us in the bed, and I think then of Lily and how I’ll have to ask her not to come by no more.