7.4.2015 Journal Prompt

Image from Last Exit to Brooklyn
Image from Last Exit to Brooklyn

July 4, 2015: When they got together…

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One thought on “7.4.2015 Journal Prompt

  1. I bloody missed it. Slept through it, a broken sleep, made rolling like a river with drink and fucking and a girl called Adele. The phone rang and took messages from my mom and my sister. They wanted to know when I’d be there and if I was bringing Suzie. Jesus, Suzie, and I don’t know what she’ll be thinking.

    And Adele slept through it, too, and I’m sure she had another place to be. Doesn’t everyone? On the fourth of July. And maybe she missed out on her momma’s pumpkin pie, as I did. The best fucking pie in the whole world. So sweet and so melt in the mouth and one year I made myself sick with the pie that I ate. And this year I bloody missed it.

    Not just the pie, but the coming together. And Uncle Howie would have been there and cousin Phil and a scrabble of nephews and nieces. And Papa John, all his words in the wrong order and some of them not even words. And Sally, and she’s my sister’s friend and we don’t say lesbian lover though we all know that’s what she is. And fuck if I missed it all.

    A firework goes off and the night is lit up like day and the air is shocked with blast – all for a moment before the dark leaps back.

    And who the fuck is Adele? I don’t know her. ‘Cept she’s pretty in her sleep and she smells of cut grass and green tea. I know her name when I wake and I turn it over in my mouth, like a pebble picked from the mouth of a river, smooth and hard and with a taste that is cold and salt, both at the same time.

    ‘Adele.’

    I only have her name and nothing else. And then I’m not sure it is her name, but it’s all I’ve got. I brush her hair back from her face and she does not stir. I lean in and I kiss her lips – taking and giving. The clock by the bed says it’s past midnight and so it is the 5th of July now, and the light on the phone answer machine blinks red and angry. Six messages, it says.

    ‘Son, your mother is a little worried. It’s past eleven and we thought you were coming for the day. And Suzie rang, too, and she does not know where you are.’

    Even dad has called and he never calls.

    I roll away from Adele – and there, for no reason I can mae sense of, a line from a song in my head. It’s by Mott the Hoople and ‘roll away the stone’ running through my thoughts and something about in the darkest night and I’ll keep you safe and alright. And I think of Suzie and Adele and I don’t know which girl I am supposed to keep safe.

    I pull the sheet over Adele’s shoulder and get up from the bed.

    Outside the street is busier than any other night and people shouting across the traffic to one another and laughing and waving, hands or flags, like everyone’s happy. That’s what the fourth of July can do. I watch the street for a few minutes. My mouth is dry and tastes of metal or blood. I swear again and I run my fingers through my hair, and I say her name, under my breath – Adele – as though it means something, which it must if I am to explain this to my mom.

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