One Reply to “9.19.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. Ain’t much doing in these parts. Not for no one. The men all work the boats and it’s hard work and the money is always tight. What’s more you never can be sure they’ll all come back. Over the years there’s been those that we’ve lost to the sea.

    The women stay home when there’s kids to mind, or they sign up at the cannery, or they sell fish in the market. Me and Lindy, we sell fish.

    It’s a early start we got most days and we rise when it’s still dark and the streets is all quiet as a Sunday library when the doors is shut and they won’t be for opening. We dress without putting the lights on in the house and we creep downstairs so as not to wake no one – ‘specially not the baby or mam. We make us some tea, strong and bitter even with the three sugars I add to my cup, and we has the first smoke of the day standing at the back door and looking at the stars that are still in the sky.

    I am quiet then, but Lindy is all whispers about a boy she’s got her eye on and she thinks he’s got his eye on her, too. It’s a different boy every week. Lindy’s pretty and her hair is all kick and curl and the colour of sunlight. I ain’t surprised there’s boys sniffing about her like dogs in heat. I’m quiet in the morning – if it can be called morning when the stars is still out – and Lindy fills the silence with her overspilling heart-whisperings.

    Then we walk the short mile to the market, lit up like a fairground and already busy. In the summer the air is warm and Lindy sings and I sing too, and sometimes we dance – our hearts at least and our heavy feet lifting and falling in the shape of dance steps – and the day is full of laughing after that; we sell more fish in them days on account of the smiling and the song still in our voices. In the winter, the streets are slippy wet and the air cuts as sharp as broken glass and we skitter and skate to work and not song but mist is in our every breath then and curses against the cold, curses that would shame the minister to hear.

    We don’t get holidays, ‘cept if the boats can’t get out and there’s no fish for selling. It’s the same, day in and day out, all the year. We just about make ends meet. And on Fridays, at the end of the day, though we is both so tired we can sleep standing, there’s the club waiting.

    Lindy and me take turns with the bath – sometimes, if we is both in a rush, then we just share it and she scrubs my back and I scrub hers. She’s got neat sit-up titties and I sometimes just hold ‘em in my hands and she closes her eyes and imagines it’s Thomas Wills or Steven Docherty or Adam Marsden. We scrub so hard to get the smell of fish out of our hair and off of our skin; and we wear so much perfume that the air in the bedroom is afterwards thick as three day old and it makes us cough.

    Then, dressed up to the nines (or tens if you is Lindy) we step out into the quick-falling Friday night and we trip lightly along to the club. You can hear the music from the juke box long before you can see the club, and through the window it’s all yellow and lit up like the sun has slipped out of the sky and is hiding there. And there’s a boy waiting at the door, a drink in each hand, and he keeps looking up the street and it’s Lindy he’s looking for – and, like I say, it’s a different boy every week and maybe he’ll get to hold her titties like I did and maybe he won’t.

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