9.18.2014 Journal Prompt

Photo by Danny Lyon
Photo by Danny Lyon

September 18, 2014: We were all outlaws.

One Reply to “9.18.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. We was all outlaws once. When we was kids and there was reason enough in that for kicking against the limits. Stupid, really, when I think about it – which is most nearly every day on account of what happened with Marcy. I read somewhere recently that it’s something to do with how our brains are wired at that age. How we’re wired to take greater risks with no heed for the harm we might do to ourselves. And that’s an explanation I got and the only one.

    Marcy and me and all the other outlaws breaking all the rules back then. Drinking whisky though it burned our throats and made us talk like old men, the sound of our voices like we was talking through a funnel or a pipe. And we didn’t care about nothing – ‘cept each other… shit, we’da laid down our lives for each other back then.

    We did all kinds of stupid stuff. I remember we stole cigarettes from Capital Stores and we stole tins of beans and there weren’t no reason for that. And we broke into a house when the people were away visiting and we made out in their beds.

    Marcy and me it was, and Tommy and Kitten, and Sheryl and Cutter, and the whole empty house just thumping and ‘Whose been sleeping in my bed?’ said Sheryl in a silly little bear voice and we all just piled in and the legs of the bed broke and we did it on the slope of the mattress then and it was just a tangle of bodies and legs and tits and the room was breathless.

    It was a month later and we was in the post office stealing cash and postal orders and Marcy said she was fucking late and what was I going to do about it. I was doped up at the time and I just shrugged and pulled her to me and we did it again there behind the counter of the post office and I stuck stamps all over her tits and I wrote my address across her belly and I wrote ‘special delivery’.

    That was years back and it all seems so stupid now. Teenage brains are so fucked up. Kitten’s real name is Carol and she works in the bank now and she’s married with a kid and she’s something respectable. I see her sometimes and we just laugh remembering how we was when we was outlaws. And then we stop laughing as though we suddenly remember. I ask after her kid and Carol can’t look me in the eye when she tells me he’s doing fine and he’s starting school after the summer and yes, he’s doing fine.

    And I wonder sometimes, what our kid would have been like, mine and Macey’s. If it would have had her eyes and my cheekbones and hair the colour of end of summer grass. And I miss Macey then and I swear against the doctor that said he’d help her get rid but no one was to know. She was white as a sheet after and she couldn’t walk straight. She just kept bleeding – for days. She said she thought that was normal. I didn’t know so I just stayed by her side, holding her hand and saying how I was really worried.

    By the time I took her to the hospital, well, it was too late. The doctor served time for what he did and he lost his license to practice. It doesn’t seem enough though. It never will. I tell Carol she’s looking all growed up and I tell her to take care of her kid cos kids are precious. The we just leave it at that.

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