Posted on May 12, 2015May 12, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair5.12.2015 Journal Prompt Photo by Pedro Meyer May 12, 2015: He could be like this. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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He’s as mad as a box of broken biscuits. That’s what they say. Mad as a brown paper bag full of frogs. And they laugh when they say it, like it’s a joke and like it’s nothing. But then they don’t have to live with him.
I see her some days, the mad old boy’s wife. Her name is Vicky and she’s pretty as pretty can be when it’s forty and some. And she dresses real nice and she looks small like a girl and a little lost when she’s walking the streets. And I see her stood outside her own front door and she takes a deep breath before turning the key in the lock and entering.
Inside he’s maybe crowing like a cockerel or flapping his arms in the air like they are wings and he’s flying. Or he’s under the table in nothing but his socks and he’s crying and all his small words are snot and sniff and salt.
That was before, seeing Vicky taking a breath before opening the door. Things have moved on since then. Everyone else laughing behind her back, and I felt sorry for her. And I stopped her one day, on a strett that was a way from her house, and I said my name and I said I wanted to help. She looked a little startled and she pulled her coat tighter about her and she said not a word. Every day for a week I put myself in her way and I said the same thing over.
Mad as crickets or hornets or hens in the rain. And he sits on the top of wardrobes or curled up in cupboards, or lays in the bath with all his clothes on and the water spilling onto the bathroom floor. And his words are all chopped or sluiced, so they make no sense, running all ways. And she coaxes him to sit normal at the table, and she feeds him with a spoon and he is like a small child then
Vicky and I wait for her in the park. There’s a bench that’s a little out of the way and I wait for her there. There’s azalea and rose at my back and Michaelmas daisies reaching for the sky in front. She comes and sits beside me, creeping like a thief or a nun, and I take her hand in mine. That’s all, just her hand, like two halves of a prayer. And I listen to what she has to say about him, her confession of all his madness.
I asked her once why it was she stayed. My voice was soft as whisper, as though I was talking in church and talking with God. She kissed me then – the only time she did. And it was like a blessing and a curse both at the same time. And she said that we are all of us mad to some degree and there ain’t no changing those that are mad from what they are and maybe that’s why she stayed.
Six and a bit years we’ve been meeting in the park, and I hold her hand always and she talks enough for the both of us. And I play over and over in my head that one kiss she gave me, and I wait for the day she will kiss me again, waiting with all the patience of a saint – and the stories of saints are too often the stories of people that were mad, and so I think that is about right.
Mad as lovers or moons or mandrakes.