Posted on February 3, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair2.3.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Robert Capa February 3, 2015: If you listen… Share this:ShareClick to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related
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Sal don’t believe in luck. Not the sorta throw the dice and hope luck. Not the horseshoe luck, or four-leafed clover luck, or the cross your fingers and touch wood luck. No sir, she din’t believe in that. For her there was just who she was and she said she hadda make the most of what she’d got.
I reckon that’s why Sal fell in love with the guys she did. Wise guys with smart suits and gold pins in their ties and shoes so shiny it was like they was made of glass. At least, she said she loved ‘em. Mayfly love, she called it cos it was fleeting and brief and she laughed when she said it.
Those guys treated her real nice, she said, just for one night. They went to fine restaurants, where the waiters was so respectful and they called her miss and they pulled the chair out for her to sit at the table. And they unwrapped her napkin and laid it in her lap like she was a little child, and they poured her wine into glasses so clean it was like they wasn’t even there, doing all that like she couldn’t do any of it for herself.
‘Course, those guys, in their fancy and that, and rings on their fingers and maybe also on their toes, they was only after the one thing and it wasn’t love that was atween them, atween Sal and those men. They was prepared to pay a little for it, too, and just for one night Sal was prepared to be bought. It was like being a fine lady, she said, and she could do it over and over with a different man every time.
The morning after, she woke to an empty hotel bed. A bed she could stretch out in, her arms and her legs flung wide and not any part of her touching the edge, and the sheets so clean and so white it was like she was laying in clouds.
Everything was paid for so she could take her time. She took a slow hot bath, hot enough it stung her skin to pink, and she took her time in dressing, dancing from here to there and back again, and singing to herself for company.
She made the bed, finally, which no lady ever would, and she tidied up. It was like coming down, she said. Like she’d been on top of the Empire State for a while and she was all breathless and giddy, and then she was stepping out of the elevator on the ground floor and she was herself again.
There was money laid on the table for her and she always left a little something for the girl who was waiting to clean the room after she left.
On the way home, she’d buy food from the market, bread and meat and vegetables in brown paper bags. Maybe some wine she’d buy, too, red like blood. Then she’d take a walk over to BJ’s record store and she’d spend the last of her money on something old. Something by Art Tatum, or Charles Parker. Something with spunk, she said.
Back at the house, she’d make a gift of the food to me and tell me to make something that’s got punch and flavor. Then she’d pour the wine and she’d put the record on the player and set it to repeat. And stripped down to her underwear, she’d lay on the bed just drinking and listening and looking pretty.
Later, after we’d eaten, she’d tell me again how she din’t believe in luck. Not nohow. And me and Sal, we’d dance to her new record, dancing crooked on account of the wine we’d drunk, and Sal’d kiss me, soft and wet and real, and she’d call me kitten and love, and she’d press her body warm against me, and like that I’d consider myself luckier than any girl ever had a right to be.