Posted on May 11, 2015May 11, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair5.11.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Helen Levitt May 11, 2015: He could be like this. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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You think you know someone, but you don’t. Not really. You think you know what’s going on in their head and it turns out they aint thinking at all, or their thoughts is off in a whole different direction.
I hear ‘em some days and they say my Eric is soft as doughnuts and he’s as sweet. He smiles at ‘em, see, and he if he was the sort to wear a hat he’d be tipping it to ‘em. He says something ‘bout the weather and he wishes ‘em a nice day – ‘You ladies see and have a nice day now.’ And he calls ‘em ladies when that aint never happened to ‘em before. And so they think he’s goodness through and through.
I thought so, too. Back when we was at the start of things and he brought flowers to where I worked and he said I was bright as sunrises. He was all respectful then and nice – opening doors for folks and saying how it was his pleasure to do so; and always with his ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’; and giving up his seat for women on the buses and for old men, too. He smelled nice as well, from the cologne he was wearing, and his clothes was always clean and pressed and his fingernails neat and polished like a girl’s.
Whenever we went out, he treated me right. We went to fancy places to eat, restaurants where the waiters were stiff and smart and they didn’t ever talk out of turn and a man was sitting at a polished grand piano and he was playing any song that we called for him to play. It must have cost an arm and a leg to eat in some of ‘em places, and the wine was so expensive they sold it in glasses, though Eric bought it by the bottle. I fretted over the prices but he said he was doing alright and I wasn’t ever to worry my pretty little head on such stuff.
We moved in together after a year. He wasn’t in no hurry, he said. He wanted it all to be just right and for me to be sure. I thought I was sure. We picked out the furniture together and the carpets and the colours of each room. When we moved into the apartment Eric bought champagne to celebrate and it wasn’t no cheap stuff neither.
You think you know someone, sometimes just from looking at a person. He’s a little overweight so as his shirt buttons strain and his belt’s fastened on the last hole and he’s always laughing. He pets dogs in the street and cats come near to rub themselves ‘gainst his legs. And he talks to ‘em, his voice all soft and dove-calling to ‘em. And like that he’s gentle and kind and girls tell me I’m so lucky to have a guy like that. But they don’t know him at all and if they did it wouldn’t make no sense to ’em.
I got bruises, see, where they can’t be seen. Under my clothes. Bruises from the press and press of his fingers on me, grabbing at me so hard, and those bruises like small dark coins on my breasts and on the insides of my thighs. See, in the bedroom he aint so gentle nor so mindful of my feelings. It’s like he is not really Eric at all. And the words out of his mouth then, they are hard as stones that are thrown, and I feel ashamed all the day carrying those thrown-stone-words about in my head. And he smiles at all the ladies in the street, smiling sweet as sugar, and he says for them to have a real nice day now, and they think they know him, but they don’t know him at all.
I wrote this piece in a swift moment, which is often how these things happen – like Csikszentmihalyi’s flow. Like that I don’t always know where the story is going or where things come from. And names just come to me, and they seem to just fit, and so this guy was an Eric and I don’t know why but it felt right.
After I posted my story, I see that one of the bloggers who liked this picture is called Eric and for me that’s weird. I did not make this link and I hope there is no offence from my Eric for none was intended.