5.13.2015 Journal Prompt

Image from Mad Men
Image from Mad Men

May 13, 2015: He could be like this.

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4 thoughts on “5.13.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. He still talks about it. Like it was something he did and not something we watched on the tv. He says still that it is man’s greatest achievement and he asks me if I remember. I don’t remember a thing, not really, but I tell him I do.

    ‘Exciting times.’

    He said I could stay up and watch it happening live. I know that cos he’s told the story a hundred times since. We got pizza delivered and chips and coke. He said I could drink coke cos it was a special thing. He was drinking beer and he held me close.

    He has a picture of that time, that’s how I know, but looking at the Kodak colour picture I don’t see who it was could have taken it. Mum is there with her hair all Jackie Kennedy and she’s dressed up for the occasion – she looks pretty in that picture; and dad is sitting holding me to him, and from the way that he’s holding me it’s like I don’t really want to be there; and I am in my pajamas and I’m wearing a plastic toy space helmet. All that I remember is there in that photograph and I don’t know who it is could have taken it.

    The world was a different place back then. That’s what my dad says. His words are a little slurred these days and all tangled in spittle thread. He paints with his words, like he’s painting a picture. He says he was happy back then – says happiness was possible in that world and he say everything was more real back then, even though we watched the moon landing in black and white. ‘Anything was possible,’ he says, ‘even the impossible.’ His face is all lit up when he talks of those days.

    I tell him that mum looks pretty in the picture. He pretends not to hear. I let it go. She’s not with us now. There’s a guy up on Claremont and she lives with him. They got kids of their own and mum’s not part of dad’s stories no more. I see her sometimes and she always asks how he is. I tell her he’s fine, even when he’s not.

    Truth is, he isn’t living in the here-and-now much these days. That’s why he’s always going on about that night of the moon-landing. He says it was a landmark day and that we should never forget it. ‘Best day of my life,’ he says. ‘We beat ‘em hands down,’ he says, and he means the Russians. ‘We showed ‘em what’s what.’

    Mum is there in the picture and like I say she’s all dressed up and with her hair done neat. There’s a picture from later in the same evening and I’m sleeping in dad’s arms by then and he’s still fixed on the tv and mum is missing. I always thought she’d gone to bed, but she told me the other day that she went out back to look up at the moon. The guy next door was out too and they were both of them moonstruck and he said she looked the spit of Jackie Kennedy and she laughed and said he was just talking silly.

    Moon-mad – that’s what they say when people are in love or if they have lost their wits. And I think the whole of America and maybe the whole of the world was moon-mad back then. Mum stuck by us for a couple more years, though she was seeing the guy next door for all of that time, too. And dad kept a scrapbook with pictures cut out of newspapers and magazine, pictures of that landmark moment when everyone was looking to the moon and the stars. Mum’s up on Claremont with her moon-gazer guy and dad is still talking on and on about what a night that was. And I don’t remember much of that time, at all, except what dad tells me and what’s in the picture; but I tell dad it’s all as clear as if it happened yesterday.

  2. Been a bit out of place recently and still trying to catch up with these prompts of yours. I am so glad you keep this going – they so often stir up stories in me, stories that otherwise would not have been. Thank you, Patty.

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