One Reply to “1.8.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. I love Minnie. She’s soft-hearted and she never raises her voice and she sees only the good in people, all people. Even, Thorn, the gardener and he wipes his wet nose with the back of his hand and he smells of something old and decayed and there’s dirt under his fingernails most times. And Minnie says she’s delighted to see him each day that he calls and she says would he like a cup of tea before he starts work in the garden and maybe a digestive biscuit with that tea.

    Thorn clears his throat, as though he might make a small speech in answer to what Minnie has said, but then he simply shrugs and then he nods and he grins.

    Minnie says afterwards that he’s just shy and that comes of living on his own for so many years. And Minnie says we should ask him to stay for supper at the end of the day and that’s just like Minnie.

    Me, I can’t get past the clearing of his throat. It’s a sound that grates and I have to fight back the urge to yell at the man. I hear him some days, at the far reach of the garden, and he’s shoveling dirt, and he keeps making the same noise, like there’s something stuck in his windpipe and he can’t clear it. I close the window and I hold my hands over my ears and like that I feel better again.

    And I love Minnie, there in that room, with the windows closed and my hands cupping my ears so the world is muffled. I love her in that ear-covered quiet.

    ‘What are you holding your hands like that for?’ says Minnie, and I haven’t the heart to tell her that I hate the man Thorn. Just like I don’t tell her about the cat that she loves and how it walks across the wooden floor in the hall and its claws clicking and clipping with each step, click-clip-click, and there is no rhythm to that stepping and I want to kill the cat then. Some days I deliberately put the cat out and I shoo it away and I stamp my feet to let it know to stay away.

    It’s different if the cat is sleeping. Then I can love the cat same as Minnie loves it. Or if she shows me pictures she’s taken and in the pictures the pink bubblegum tip of its tongue is lapping up milk from a saucer, and in the picture there is not the sound and so I say that, yes, the cat is cute as buttons or bows, and I put those pictures up about the house just to remind me that Minnie loves the cat and I can, too.

    And Minnie – I love her. More than beans and rice, I sometimes say. It’s something I heard in a film once and it’s stayed with me. ‘I love you once, I love you twice, I love you more than beans and rice.’ I sing it to her sometimes, just out of the blue. Like when she’s drinking milkshake or lemonade down at Busby’s café and she’s drinking through a straw and she makes a slurping sound that makes me hate her for a moment. Then I lean across the table and I say that I love her more than beans and rice. It’s what I do to stop from hitting her or saying something we could not live with after.

    Minnie rests up from her sucking and slurping, just for a moment, and she smiles across at me and she tells me I am sweet and that she loves me right back. But it is just for a moment, and she puts her kiss-lips to the straw aonce more – then I think I hate her again, which is the same as hating a part of myself.

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