12.6.2014 Journal Prompt

Image from Call Her Savage
Image from Call Her Savage

December 6, 2014: What I wanted to be.

6 Replies to “12.6.2014 Journal Prompt”

  1. They think they know me. From the pictures he takes, they think they know me. But they know only him and he knows only himself. He says I’ve got something. He says I’ve got what men are looking for. That I could stop traffic with what I’ve got. That I could have the heart and soul of any man just by looking at him. It’s all just shit and sham, and it’s not anything to do with me.

    I see those pictures he takes and I don’t see me in ‘em. He tells me how to sit and he flicks his fingers through my hair and he pulls the strap of my dress off my shoulder and he says I should look straight at the camera. He tells me what to be feeling so that there’s the look of longing or lost on my face. And he positions the measured light and he cries out ‘And the Lord said let there be light, and lo there was light.’

    He don’t see me in the pictures. Not the girl that he met in a small town up north. We was sitting in a café back then and he bought me an iced tea and he said I was simply the prettiest girl anywhere. I liked that, the attention he gave me, and looking back I like that ‘simply’. It ain’t simple no more. He wasn’t like the other lads in town, not in that café; his hands was clean and his fingernails pretty as a girl’s and he smelled of flowers or cucumber.

    That first time, meeting in the café, he didn’t take no pictures and I think that was the best time. He kept looking at me and smiling, and he kept saying my name over and over and making small changes to the sound of it till it wasn’t my name at all but was something breathless and kissing. He gave me his card and he said he’d call me and I said he’d fucking better or else.

    I went to his hotel room the next day and we drank fizzing white wine from long-stemmed glasses and I thought I knew what he was after and I thought he might get lucky this time. Then he started rearranging my hair and he pinched my cheeks and he said he wanted to take my picture. Right from the start he made me look like something I’m not and he’s been doing it ever since.

    And I see the looks on the faces of stopped-in-their-tracks men in the street and their fingers rubbing together like they are feeling the nap of fine cloth, and I can tell what’s in their heads; or when the doorman at the hotel takes my hand in his and he pretends like I am a lady and he’s looking at my legs and imagining his hand running under my dress; and even the girls – women really – and they brush up against me in the elevator, brushing like cats, and they say my name, which is not really my name, and they kiss me on the lips like they have the right.

    And it’s not me, not any of it, and they think they know, from what they see on the pages of magazines, but they don’t. That’s what he has made of me and I am made from an image of himself – pretty nails and clean hands, and my hair made like he wants it to look, and he undresses me for the world, but it is himself that he undresses.

    And it was something I liked at first, but now I’m not so sure.

  2. Lindsay
    Another lovely piece. You capture the duality of attractiveness and loss of self. And with just a few brush strokes. Left me wondering what will she do next. Provocative. Thanks

      1. Patty, thanks as always. I really liked this picture. I don’t know much about her but Clara Bow often seems to me to be a bit sad and a bit not herself but a projection of sorts (sic).

      2. Glad you liked it, Lindsay. Putting together some of your flashes, by the way, to schedule for posts. Keep watching this space! And thank you, too, for always being so kind to the other writers here.

    1. David, thanks for reading and commenting. I enjoyed writing this piece. Yes, I wonder what she will do next. I shall have to think on that.

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