Posted on September 8, 2015September 8, 2015 by Patricia Ann McNair9.8.2015 Journal Prompt Image from Mad Men September 8, 2015: She needed to tell him. Like this:Like Loading... Related
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We were just messing about at first. That’s what I said to myself and what I said to Fi. It was just a bit of fun, is all. He’d stop at my desk on his way to the coffee machine and say something to make me laugh and I’d say something back and like that the days were a little better, a little brighter. Where’s the harm in that?
Fi said I should be careful and she said that hearts are easily broken, and look both ways when crossing the road, she said, which I looked at her funny and didn’t understand.
‘Think about it,’ said Fi. ‘People as don’t look both ways, well, they get hit by cars or trucks of buses they just didn’t see.’
I still didn’t get it. ‘We’re just messing,’ I told Fi again, and I said it lightly, like I was throwing something into the air and not caring if the wind took it and blew it from me.
‘Hearts are like thinnest glass,’ Fi said. ‘So thin sometimes a breath could break them.’
But we were just messing and he was funny and silly, and I looked for him sitting on the edge of my desk each day and saying something to make everything brighter. Even when he took me for a drink after work, the first time that he did, the first of a hundred times, even then it was just messing and nothing to do with hearts or hearts breaking.
‘Don’t say I didn’t warn you,’ Fi said when she heard.
He’s married is what Fi was on about. He didn;t hide the fact. he was wearing a gold band on his finger to tell everyone and to tell me. Fi thought I was falling for him and she was worried on my account. I told her I understood and I said it was ok and she wasn’t to be worried.
It was just drinks at first and his hand touching me like he didn’t believe I was real. And then kisses, light as moth wings on my cheek. And it was all like a game and I let him win a little more each time. And he bought me stuff. Silly stuff at first. Candy in the shapes of hearts, or marzipan white mice, or notelets with jokes on. Then flowers he brought me one day and his kisses were not moth-wing kisses then and he pulled me into a shop doorway and his hands was running under my coat.
Lovers we were, soon enough, and still I thought we were messing about. And I told myself as much and I told Fi the same.
‘Thinnest glass,’ she said and she shook her head and she shook one finger in the air. ‘And look both ways,’ she said.
Then one day it all made sudden sense what Fi said and I was hit by something I didn’t see coming. We were in room 109 at the Marriott Hotel up on 9th Street and he was kissing me like always and his hands pressing over my clothes and he said he loved me – which he’d said before and which I understood was just air with sound attached. He was married after all. But fuck, if he didn’t produce a ring then, all sitting up neat in a box and glinting. For real, he did, and I saw then that he wasn’t wearing his own ring. And he upped and asked me to marry him. And for a moment I was all breathless and swept up in the moment and he was, too. He put the ring on my finger and it felt like he wasn’t messing any more, and that’s when I wanted to tell him that none of this was real, not any of it. Only I could see what Fi was always telling me: how hearts are like thinnest glass and easily broken – only it was his heart and not mine that was in danger.
Sometimes I think people should keep their opinions to themselves and not go upsetting others with things they feel must be said. We is all of us different and I reckon as how that’s ok. Like that actress what’s really good and she’s as old as library books and her face all date-stamped with the years and now everybody is suddenly paying attention to what she says and so she says just what she thinks with no nevermind to what her words will do.
She’s talking ‘bout women mostly and talking ‘bout men and how men is just beastly and women is just downtrodden, which I don’t agree with really. She says now as how men should not put their arms across the shoulders of women cos doing that it’s like the men is saying they own the women. Jesus, is the world gone fucking mad?
Don’t get me wrong. If I’da been there in the sixties, there at that miss America pageant in ‘68, I’da burned my bra along with the rest of ‘em – only Shirley says that they didn’t really burn their bras and it was just a protest with banners and placards and shit and the bra burning is just a urban myth. No nevermind. I’m all for women’s rights and equality and that. Ask Shirley and she’ll tell you. I don’t stand for nothing – like when this guy opened the door for me the other day and he stood back to let me go first and as I passed him he made some remark on how pretty my hair was. Well, I wasn’t fucking standing for that shit, no way, so I held the door for him instead and I said if he wasn’t careful I’d jump his bones right there and then at the entrance to the department store.
I get it. I do. All these years I been getting it. How we got to stand up for ourselves and not let ‘em walk all over us. Shirley says she gets it too, but when I told her ‘bout the guy opening the door for me and making pretty out of my hair, well she put air into her cheeks and blew it out slow as a long whistle and I could tell she thought I’d gone too far, and you know, I think maybe I did.
What’s the world come to when a guy can’t just be nice, or when his nice has to be measured against a set of acceptable rules and read all the wrong way. I been back to the store since looking for that guy just so I could apologise.
And now this actress woman and she’s worshipped for what she is and she’s loved by strangers all over the world. And now she says as how men should not put their arms across women’s shoulders cos doing that it’s like women is men’s property. Fuck off – and she says she wishes she’d said that more in her life and I’m saying it now.
Jesus, and the world is surely gone mad, I reckon, and now we got to be careful with how we love each other and hold each other. As if there was more than enough love in the world and we could afford to lose some. And that man saying ‘bout my hair and opening the door for me, well that don’t happen enough these days and it should be happening both ways rather than not happening at all and that’s the truth. And men should hold women any way they want and women should hold ‘em back and that actress can just fuck off if it upsets her and she can just keep her opinions to herself.