Posted on August 14, 2015August 14, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair8.14.2015 Journal Prompt August 14, 2015: They were always together. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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I like old. There’s something about a guy that’s old. He seems comfortable in his own skin, that’s what I think. Like he is just who he is and he don’t have to try to be what he aint. Not like some of the guys you meet in bars and you can see ’em flattening their own stomachs and checking their reflection in the mirror behind the counter and practicing their smiles so it sits right. No, old guys is just what you see and I sorta like that.
And I been seeing this old guy. He’s maybe in his late fifties, grey in his hair and thin as sticks, and he was married before and he aint now. We take a drink together and he aint looking for nothing more than the company. His name’s Mr Leo Thackeray and he listens to me and he thinks about what I tell him. And he’s got all kinds of respect for me. We drink sometimes till the world tips and nothing is quite straight and the barman says he wants to lock up now and we should go.
Mr Leo Thackeray walks me home, walking wavy the two of us so we walk more than twice the distance. And he holds my arm – so he don’t fall and so I don’t fall neither. And we talk about nothing and everything – and I don’t ever remember what. And when we get to my door, he tells me goodnight and sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite, and he waits till I close my door and I’m safe before he turns and walks wavy back to his own place.
We get some funny looks in the street, cos sometimes I stop to kiss Mr Leo Thackeray, stopping under the yellow streetlight and kissing him without break. I don’t know if he kisses me back. When I’m laying in my bed and awake and the morning is a bright pain in my head, I touch my lips with the tips of my fingers, and I try to imagine it’s Mr Leo Thackeray kissing me – and in my head I got nothing.
Next time we meet – which is always by chance and not by arrangement – he asks how I am and he says I look pretty in my blue dress and my hair all blowing; I ask if he wants to go for a drink and he shrugs and says ‘why not?’ We pay for our own and that’s just agreed and that’s different from the other men in the bar and they would buy you two fingers of bourbon easy and think you owed ‘em something after. And Mr Leo Thackeray don’t say nothing about the last walk home, and the stars all hidden in the sky, and kissing under the streetlights, so I don’t know how much he remembers or if he’s just being respectful – but I reckon he remembers as much as I do: the kissing but not all that it was like.
And so we play it out again, just the same, and drinking till walking is like dancing, and the barman says it’s time to go, and the street is all lit up yellow and maybe there’s a hundred kisses from the bar to my door. And Mr Leo Thackeray letting kisses just be kisses and not anything more.