One Reply to “6.9.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. Blair was spoken to by the manager at the bank where he worked. About the length of his hair. The manager said he understood that it was the fashion, but he did not think that the customers at his bank wanted that when they were being served. He said it was a matter of advancement, and if Blair wanted to one day find promotion within the bank, then he’d need to conform to certain standards.

    Kirsty at the bank overheard what the manager told him. She stuck her fingers up behind the manager’s back. Blair thought he might be in there. She was pretty enough, a little thick about the ankles, maybe, and she wore too much make-up for his liking, but she seemed nice enough in that fingers-in-the-air moment. Blair asked her out for a drink when they were shutting up and she was counting money. She stopped in mid-calculation, stopped long enough to look at him as if he was daft. Then she said, ‘Fuck you,’ and went back to her counting.

    He went for a drink on his own. He called in at the bar opposite the bank. He sat at a small table for two, sat by himself hunched over a pint of bitter. His dad had once said bitter was a man’s drink and so, though he didn’t like the taste, that’s what he drank. There was music playing and the bar was lit up like a fairground ride and people on all sides of him were laughing and talking too loudly and touching each other in small but telling ways.

    Blair sat alone, sipping at his bitter, and smoking a cigarette, and trying to look like he wasn’t waiting for someone, wasn’t waiting for a girl called Kirsty from the bank. He kept looking at the clock and each time that he did he was surprised at how little time had passed. ‘Fuck you,’ he said under his breath. It’s what he should have said to Kirsty with her too-red lipstick and her dress a little tight across her tits so that they looked like they might jump out at him at any moment. ‘Fuck you,’ he said again.

    He walked home in the dark going by Carnarvon Street. There were girls there most nights. Girls like Kirsty, wearing too much make-up and their tits leaping out at you. They didn’t say ‘Fuck you,’ when he talked to them. They asked him how he was and how his sister was doing these days and his mum. They touched his arm and even kissed him and they said if he wanted they’d do him for free.

    One girl in particular, her name was Miriam, though her street-light name was Mandy. He’d been to school with her, and she looked at him soft and silly, like she’d done back in Mrs Pitt’s classroom. She played her hair through her fingers and she said his name like it was a prayer or a wish. He went with her once, back to her one-room apartment up behind of the canning factory – the air there smelled of cooked cabbage. Once inside, they undressed, back to back, and got into her single bed. Then they just lay there, their bodies touching. That was all. Miriam fell into sleep after about an hour and Blair had got up and dressed without waking her. He left twenty-quid by the bed and felt bad about it afterwards.

    Blair offered Miriam a cigarette and he said his sister was doing fine and his mum fine, too. And he said he liked her earrings and the way she was wearing her hair. And Miriam said his name, prayer-like again, and she kissed his cheek, and touched his arm with her fingers.

    In his head he saw Kirsty’s fingers, flicking through the ten pound notes she’d been counting, saw them stop and hold the money in mid-count. Then he saw her look at him again, like he was simple or mad. And again he heard her say, ‘Fuck you.’

    Miriam said she was pleased to see him and her eyes were lit up. She ran her fingers through his hair, and she said he maybe needed a haircut what with hm being all respectable these days, except she also said he looked so pretty she could just eat him up and she licked his lips and laughed.

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