3 Replies to “8.8.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. Dad was always such a fuss. He checked hisself in mirrors and shop windows all the time. Looking to see if his tie was straight or his hair just so or his suit pants sitting right. He said appearance was important. He said you had to take care of things if you was to make a good impression in this world.

    For years I believed him and wanted to be like him. And I took the trouble that he said I should. And mom was always ruffling my hair like she didn’t think I was boy enough for her. And she kept saying I should wear my jeans and go run with the other kids, instead of always with the jacket and tie and the shirt collar sharp as pins with the canned starch dad showed me how to use.

    And me and dad, we’d step out together sometimes, and we was sure that we was something to look at – looking like church Sunday but looking like that every day. Dad said if God deserved our very best, and we are all of us made in His image, then we all deserved as much. Dad didn’t go to church, as far as I recall, but he was always saying stuff like that. Stuff about being good and honest and true.

    Then things was one day different and the world was all turned upside down and nothing made any sense for the longest time. Dad was out for the morning. He said he was meeting someone from work. A new guy by the name of Ted. He said the guy was a little lost in the city and dad was going to show him around. His good deed for a Saturday morning, he said. Only, dad had left his wallet on the kitchen table, and I thought he wouldn’t get far without it.

    Turns out he told a lie, dad did. A big fat lie, or a pretty lie at least. He wasn’t meeting no new guy or showing him round. He was meeting a girl. Skinny in a yellow skirt and her hair all sunshine and curl. And I saw them, saw dad in his smart suit and the girl holding his arm like he belonged to her. And I followed them to an apartment block and they went inside.

    I still didn’t get it. Didn’t want to get it. I replayed all that dad had said that morning, in case he hadn’t lied and I’d just misheard. In case it was all just differenet from what was in my head. I tried to make what dad had said fit what was going on. Maybe he was just helping her find someplace to stay and everything was just good and honest and true. How could it not be?

    I waited across the street for around a hour and a half till they came out again. They was laughing and she kept kissing him and touching his arm and stroking his face. And dad’s tie was a little crooked and he wasn’t wearing his jacket, had it thrown over his shoulder like he was carrying a limp carpet. It was obvious then.

    After, I didn’t want to be like dad no more. And I felt sorry for mom and I let her ruffle my hair and make me into her kind of boy. And dad just shrugged and made much of hisself and spent more and more time with this guy called Ted. Mom said dad should bring Ted home for dinner sometime and dad said he’d see what Ted thought. But I knew Ted wouldn’t be coming, not this Saturday nor never. But I didn’t tell, not ever wanting to hurt mom.

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