Posted on September 5, 2015September 5, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair9.5.2015 Journal Prompt Image from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil September 5, 2015: In the shadows… Like this:Like Loading... Related
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It’d be like a funeral, he said, and there’d be a box with everything inside and we could say prayers and bury that box six feet under the ground. He was drunk and so was I, a bottle of Irish whisky empty and rolling about the floor and rolling into the shadows ‘neath the table. I nodded and laughed and he laughed, too, even though it was no laughing matter.
A funeral, he said, and we’d be burying our love, so deep we could not ever reach it again. That’s what he said, and it was something I wanted to do but didn’t really think was possible. Six feet, deep, he said, deep as bodies that have not a breath more left in ‘em, and we’d do it now, in the middle of the night so we would not be seen. In the churchyard we’d do it.
Our love, not for each other but for Bree, that was what he meant. And he said he loved her more than life and I said I loved her just the same. Bree and she was the prettiest girl in all the country and maybe in all the world, and her hair like wheat before it is cut and the wind blowing through the field, and her eyes like pools with the sky reflected in ‘em. And Col kissed her one time, said he did, and touched under her dress; and I did, too. And he said he did it first which must count for something and I said it was the second mouse that got the cheese and I don’t know why I said that except it must have been the whisky talking.
Kissing Bree and fuck if it wasn’t like catching a fish out on the river and holding to the line and feeling for the tug of something and there it was, and not yet knowing what’d been caught but thrilled down to my boots. And Col saying it was the same for him, all his words sluicing about in his head and spilled onto the floor, like when our mother was carrying her last child and she was heavy as a cow that wants milking, and her waters broke and the stabbing pain between her legs telling her that something was happening. Love and pain so close they touch.
And didn’t Col have a letter from Bree, and he laid it down like a winning hand in cards and it said she loved him to the moon and the stars and back again and she said his kisses were like silver coins that she tucked into her dress pocket and she kept finger those coins to remember that they were there. And didn’t I have a letter something the same and I laid it down to trump Col’s. To the heavens and beyond she loved me and my kisses were pearls that she hung about her neck and under her dress and she kept touching them to know they were there.
Not just letters, but tokens of her love for Col and her love for me. The print of her listicked lips pressed to bus tickets, or scraps of poetry scribbled onto cloth, or pictures of Bree taken in the railway photo booth so her eyes were bluer than blue. And as much for Col as for me, like it was a game she was playing and playing it twice and playing it even.
That’s when Col came up with the idea for a funeral and we’d put Bree’s love into wooden box and everything that was a reminder of that love and we’d bury it in the churchyard with promises and prayers, before God and before each other. And I was drunk enough I agreed to it. And so it was done.
And in the waking morning the light of the day is cold and hurts my eyes, and my gut shifts, lurches like a milk cow when it stumbles, and I feel sick to my heart and my soul with what we’ve done and I love Bree above the promises I made; I look over at Col and the look on his face tells me he feels exactly the same.