1.16.2015 Journal Prompt

Photo by Henri Cartier Bresson
Photo by Henri Cartier Bresson

January 16, 2015: Sometimes we saw him.

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One thought on “1.16.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. He’s daft as a brush, is what he is. Not right in the bloody head. I tell him as much. I say to him that he’s not the full shilling, and he just laughs and makes a sound that ain’t no words at all but is like something a mad man’d say. I tell him he ought to grow up now he’s got a family to look after, but he don’t show that he’s listening.

    Thing is, it was sort of cute before. And he’d pull pennies out from behind my ear, or a silver half crown once and we went to the pictures with that magic money. And he’d fashion a wee white mouse out of an old handkerchief and he’d hold it in his palm and stroke it and it’d leap up his arm like it was living. And he’d juggle pine cones if we was out walking, or stones or shells if we was on the beach.

    I said he should be in the bloody circus. And he’d pretend to walk the tightrope when he was just walking the edge of the pavement, and he’d hold his arms out wide for balance and he’d look like he was really concentrating, wobbling a little for effect and taking a bow when he reached a lamppost to hold onto.

    Like I said, it was cute at first, and I laughed and I said he was a right daft bugger and no mistake. He’d pull flowers out from the sleeve of his jacket – they was a little flat and ruffled and the petals all crumpled, but it was a fun trick. And he took me home one night, back to his flat up on the Briggs road, and he made all my clothes disappear, or he said that he did.

    When I told him, four weeks after, that I’d a trick of my own to share with him, his eyes lit up. I made a show of it, like he would, and I waved my hand over his head, and I said abracadabra in a slow and sing-song chant, and I said as how he was now something more than he was before – now he was a father.

    I’ll give him his due, he didn’t let his smile slip, not for a second. And he said that was fucking magic news. He ordered fizzy wine and he got down on one knee and he asked me to marry him, there in the pub with everyone looking on. I didn’t expect a ring. It was all so spontaneous, but when he poured the wine into my glass, lo and fucking behold, there was a ring at the bottom of the bubbles.

    But it’s different now, I tell him. He’s got a job up at Markie’s Garage. Not doing any of the clever stuff, just what he’s told – changing tyres and oil and lightbulbs in headlamps. And we’ve got a wee baby boy and he’s called Matthew, and I say to him that he’s got responsibilities now. He holds Matthew by his feet, high as an Olympic torch, and he wobbles a bit, like it’s a feat of strength or amazing balance. I catch my breath and my heart fucking stops, and when he lowers Matthew to the ground and Matthew is giggling and asking his daddy to do it again, I tell him he ain’t got the bloody sense God gave geese.

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