One Reply to “2.12.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. They should sell tickets for the show. They’d sell ‘em soon enough. And all the men on this side of the fence watching the girls on the other and I don’t doubt but they’d pay dear for to keep doing so. Looking not in an obscene way, but just watching, and smiling at them, and waving sometimes. The girls like to be watched and so I do not think it belittles them. Not like the girls that take off their clothes in magazines so as any Tom, Dick or Harry can see ‘em. These girls are respectable and dressed head to toe in blue and only their faces showing. They are on their way to morning prayers, every day around six, and we stand on our side of the fence, standing tall and all in a line so we can see ’em.

    We have our favourites and they have theirs, and afterwards we compare notes. Maria was looking a little pale today, I thought, as though she was suffering an illness or as though she had not slept. And Catherine was walking with a limp. And Ruth had a shoelace undone, on her left boot – Michael was worried that she would trip over it.

    We know their families, some of ‘em. And after they have passed, we are quick to write down what we saw, in case we forget, every small detail written down and poured over, and the things we make note of will later fill the letters we write to the parents of the girls.

    ‘Marion is doing well. She smiles at the sun and she walks light on her feet and she looks healthy. She says to send you her love and to tell you that she says her prayers three times a day and she is certain that God is happy with her.’

    Once there was a man who tried to climb the fence. He was young and new and he did not know the rules. He fancied that he was in love with a girl called Sharon and he fancied that she was in love with him. It is an easy enough mistake, but not one that should be made. Not unless you want the priest to intervene and he comes knocking then, with a hard stick, and he cuts you with the sharpness of his tongu,e and he calls everything you are or will be a sin, and he must see you in church after that, or be damned with you, every Sunday for a three month, and kneeling on the stone floor for an hour or more, till your knees bleed, and you must be asking for God’s forgiveness for all of that kneeling-hour.

    So we kep to our side of the fence and we only look, according to what is allowed, and we smile perhaps and sometimes we wave, and it is enough. And in the dark of night we toss and turn in our bunks, and the master parades between the beds and he says ‘hands off cocks’ and he calls us dirty and beastly and we none of us dare go against what he says.

    And I fret over Maria and the pale that she looked today, and I wonder if it might be some ailment of the heart, for didn’t she pass a note through the fence one day, when no one was looking, and she said her heart was not sacred. And she called me sweet, in the same note she did, and love she said, and she told me I was to touch my lips with my fingers, my eyes closed, and she would do the same, at exactly eleven o’clock, when the church clock chimed the hour, and like that it would be something like kissing.

    I have the note under my shirt. It is warm and soft as cloth now, and the words I have to heart have left the paper. But still I do as Maria said, and the master at his parade does not know that I kiss my fingers and I think of Maria when I do, and my heart overflows with something, and that something just might be love.

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