4.18.2015 Journal Prompt

Photo by Margaret Bourke-White
Photo by Margaret Bourke-White

April 18, 2015: These were the good times.

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One thought on “4.18.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. You never do think it, but parents has got secrets and whole lives that you nothing about. You think just cos they spend their time with you, and looking out for you from day to day, and doing for you always – you think then that you know ‘em. But mostly you don’t.

    Like my mom and she’s all kinds of goodness and she smiles at the day even when the day don;t deserve smiles, and she says it’s all just waiting for me out there and I should go out and get it. And she kisses me and she says she loves me once, loves me twice, loves me more than beans and rice. And I can’t believe she ever told a lie in her life.

    And dad’s always saying as I how should listen to my mom and how she’s all sorts of smart and good, and he winks at me and grins. Like the cat what’s got the cream is what mom says, and he pulls mom to him and kisses and hugs her.

    Oh, don’t get me wrong. It aint all sweetness between ‘em, not always. They has hard words sometimes and doors slam and the walls of the house shake. I hold my breath then, and I listen hard as thunder clapping, and I wait for the storm to pass – which sometimes it don’t for days, and there’s a taste to the air like metal or blood.

    And once dad moved out and he went to stay with his sister across town and we didn’t see him for weeks and I feel guilty as sin about it even now. That was all on account of a picture, see, one I found in a box in the attic. It was a old picture in black and white and the corners all dog-eared and the paper yellowed with time. And it was some sort of occasion and there was couples dancing, holding each other like they was holding fragile glass, and moving so slow nothing in the picture was blurred. And there was a girl in front of the picture and she was being hugged by two men and she was laid back in their arms and looking all loved up and loose.

    Turns out the girl with the two men was my mom only it was from way back – back before ever she was a mom. And she was just Chrissy then – you forget sometimes that moms and dads have names or that there was a whole world of time when they was without you.

    And I took the picture down to my dad and I asked him if he was one of the men. They neither of ‘em looked like my dad, but I seen pictures of him when he was eighteen and some of ’em they don’t look like my dad, not even if you look close.

    Dad hadn’t seen that picture before. And he was talking about how mom had a whole life before he met her, just like he did, too, and he was laughing like he was remembering his whole other life. But then he flipped the picture over and there was a date written on the back in pencil and the names of some of the people in the picture and mom’s name, Chrissy. Dad’s face changed then and I could feel the air prickle and taste metal or blood on my tongue.

    Later, when dad was packed and gone across town, I asked mom what was what. I was feeling bad about showing dad the picture. Mom said it was nothing to worry about and she said it easy as kissing or praying, and even though it felt like she was telling true, I knew it was a lie. And the date of the picture – when I done some calculating – was a year after mom and dad was married and I guess that was what dad was mad about.

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